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Pa. State Police data shows no racial profiling in recent study of traffic stops

The 160-page report conducted by the National Policing Institute showed 78.5% of people stopped were white, 14.4% were Black and 8.2% were Hispanic

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State officials said there were no signs of racial profiling in any of the data collected.

Pennsylvania State Police

By Francis Scarcella
The Daily Item

PHILADELPHIA — Of the more than 440,000 drivers stopped by Pennsylvania State Police in 2022, a new report shows that nearly four out of five were white and 40 percent were pulled over for speeding.

According to the 2022 annual findings to improve public safety, transparency and policy, the 160-page report conducted by the National Policing Institute showed that 78.5% of people stopped were white, 14.4% were Black, and 8.2% were Hispanic.

The study collected and analyzed data from all traffic stops initiated by troopers in 2022, according to Dr. Robin Engel, of the National Policing Institute. The state police partnered with Engel to analyze traffic stops and their outcomes.

State officials said there were no signs of racial profiling in any of the data collected.

“The data shows our department has made great progress in these outcomes over the years, and we’re proud of the work our troopers continue to do,” Col. Christopher Paris, commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police said. “We appreciate the partnership with the National Policing Institute as we move forward with one of the most comprehensive and high-quality data collection efforts in the country.”

State police officials said the use of an independent analysis assists in building trust with the public through transparency, identifying opportunities for improvement in policy, training, and supervision and improving safety for motorists and troopers.

Other data show that 40% of drivers stopped were pulled over for speeding. They were going an average 21 miles per hour over the speed limit, the report stated.

Officials said 26.8% were pulled over for moving violations, while 18.8 were for equipment problems.

Officials say 56% of those pulled over were issued either a written or verbal warning, while 57% were given citations, and 4% were arrested. The report noted that the sum of the percentages exceeds 100% because motorists can receive more than one outcome in a single stop.

State officials said there were no signs of racial profiling in any of the data collected.

The state police should be proud, Engel said.

“The Pennsylvania State Police should be commended for reestablishing their comprehensive, voluntary data collection system, and these findings should inspire confidence among commonwealth residents toward the leadership and troopers of the Pennsylvania State Police,” Engel said.

Engel said the state police rate of contraband seizures during discretionary searches is among the highest in the nation.

“Our review of the criminal interdiction training also suggests that their focus on both effective and equitable practices is a promising approach and serves as a national model,” Engel said.

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