Researchers soon to share findings on racial breakdown of local traffic stops

photo by: Chris Conde/Journal-World File Photo

A Lawrence Police Department vehicle is seen in this file photo from September 2018.

Researchers investigating the racial breakdown of law enforcement contact and traffic stops in Douglas County will soon share their initial findings during a public meeting.

The Douglas County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, which hired the researchers in 2019, will host the community meeting through an online video conference at 6 p.m. Aug. 9, according to a news release. Those who attend the meeting will be able to learn about the study, weigh in on the process and ask questions.

Researchers Jack McDevitt, of Northeastern University, and Janice Iwama, of American University, helped create the program that is documenting traffic and pedestrian stops in Douglas County. They began collecting data Jan. 1, 2020, from the KU Police Department, Lawrence Police Department, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Baldwin City Police Department and Eudora Police Department.

McDevitt and Iwama have been analyzing data to determine if police contact is disproportionate among certain groups. They are also expected to provide recommendations to the law enforcement agencies if there are any disparities.

Residents can participate virtually by following a link available on the county’s CJCC website, Residents may also call in and listen by phone by dialing 1-312-626-6799 and entering meeting ID 958 4492 4140.


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