Racial Profiling

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Racial Profiling: Are we Fighting it the Right Way?

Racial Profiling: Are we Fighting it the Right Way?
I would like to talk about an issue that is plaguing our community today and making the job of a Police Officer even more difficult than it already is. All for one reason, statistics!!
Racial profiling to me is a lot like any other problem in our society today. Many have different opinions on why it happens, and what we should do about it if it does happen. The problem is nobody can come to a consensus on how to solve this problem. It seems to me that racism is still part of our society, and sadly, I think it always will be. We all have prejudices of some sort towards others. It may be because of race, sex, sexual preference, rich, poor, ugly, or pretty. I am not saying that this is right, but we as a society need to realize that this problem will never completely go away. We need to adapt to it, work around it, or through it.

Recently, at the end of 2000, many states including Missouri addressed this problem of Racial Profiling. They decided that statistics needed to be obtained, by having each police officer fill in a form for each traffic stop. The forms ask many questions pertaining to the stop including probable cause for the stop, was a search conducted, and also the race of the driver. Each department from each city or county was required to complete and turn these forms over to the state, so the statistics for each city or county could be compiled. The two parts the state centered on were the Disparity index (proportion of stops/portion of population in the city or county. A value of 1 represents no disparity; values greater than 1 indicate over representation.) and the Search rate (searches/stops x 100). Keep in mind that these statistics only covered the last four months of the year 2000. The entire state of Missouri showed a disparity index of .97 for whites and 1.27 for blacks, also a 6.34% search rate for...
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