Regulations prescribe process for collecting data pertaining to law enforcement stops
SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today announced that the regulations drafted by the California Department of Justice (DOJ) for the collection of data pertaining to law enforcement stops under Assembly Bill 953 (AB 953), the Racial and Identity Profiling Act (RIPA) of 2015, are now final. Beginning July 1, 2018, law enforcement agencies, starting with the nine largest agencies, will begin collecting stop data and reporting the information to the DOJ.
“Public safety is a job for all of us – our peace officers, of course, but a cooperative citizenry as well. Trust is the glue that makes the relationship between law enforcement and the community work,” said Attorney General Becerra. “This new RIPA data collection and reporting process is meant to strengthen, and in some cases repair, that trust. The regulations are a product of collaboration among community leaders, law enforcement professionals and researchers in the public safety field. I thank everyone who participated in the formulation of these regulations.”
“The California Police Chiefs Association has routinely proven to be a collaborative partner with various stakeholders throughout California in our efforts to increase public safety and enhance community trust in law enforcement,” said Chief Edward Medrano, Co-Chair of the RIPA Advisory Board and President of the California Police Chiefs Association. “The Racial and Identity Profiling Act and the recently approved regulations is another tool to ensure our officers continue to provide fair and impartial policing to the communities we serve.”
“Racial and identify profiling has created trauma across California and the passage of AB 953 in 2015 sent a clarion call to the public safety system that necessary change was upon us,” said Reverend Ben McBride, Co-Chair of the RIPA Advisory Board and Co-Director of People Improving Communities through Organizing (PICO) CA. “The RIPA Board worked alongside the Department of Justice and those closest to the pain around these issues, creating regulations for how we collect the data. We now continue the sacred work of ensuring California is a state where all, despite of difference, are treated with respect and fairness under the law.”
“We need to move beyond the rhetoric and the entrenched positions on this issue,” said Assemblymember Shirley Weber, the author of AB 953. “It’s time for us to address bias in policing from a policymaking perspective. With these regulations we will have the comprehensive hard data necessary to understand the scope of the problem and to make practical decisions about how to reduce over-policing persons of color, a practice that wastes resources, engenders mistrust and compromises public safety.”
The RIPA regulations give law enforcement agencies and their officers clear instruction regarding what data to report about stops, and the logistics of how and when to report this stop data. DOJ completed the regulations after thoroughly considering the oral and written commentary from hundreds of stakeholders, including the law enforcement community, academics, and community advocates. DOJ also reviewed stop data collection programs in other jurisdictions and conducted a field test to better understand the practical implications of this data collection.
The regulations require, among other things, that officers collect and transmit to the DOJ the following information:
- Date, time, duration, location and type of stop
- Reason for the stop
- Any actions taken by an officer during the stop
- Result of the stop
- The officer’s perception of the gender, race/nationality, and approximate age of the person stopped, and whether the officer perceives that the person is lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender
- Whether the person stopped has limited or no English fluency
- The officer’s perception or knowledge that the person has a disability
The first round of data collection, starting with the largest law enforcement agencies, will begin on July 1, 2018.
The regulations, including a complete list of the information required to be reported for each stop, can be found online at www.oag.ca.gov/ab953/regulations.
The DOJ published the original proposed stop data regulations in December 2016, as required by AB 953, to specify the data that local and certain state law enforcement agencies will be required to collect and report to the DOJ on each stop by a law enforcement officer. After receiving hundreds of comments from stakeholders during an initial 45-day public comment period, the DOJ revised the regulations.
In August 2017, Attorney General Becerra posted revised proposed regulations and opened a 15-day public comment period for stakeholders to participate in the process.
Stakeholders that provided input include the RIPA Board; state and local law enforcement agencies and associations; civil rights groups; individuals representing the LGBTQ, immigrant, disability and youth rights communities; community organizations; and members of academia. The Attorney General’s Office appreciates and thanks all stakeholders who participated in this process.