Police release traffic violation report
Mar. 04, 2008
White males commit the most traffic violations in Columbia, according to the 2007 Racial Profiling Report. The report was released by the Columbia Police Department on Feb. 29.
According to the report, police stopped 6,461 white males in 2007.
This is significantly more than the 4,812 white females they stopped.
“In general terms, men tend to drive faster and more aggressive than women,” CPD Chief Randy Boehm said.
White drivers lead other ethnicities in traffic violations. This is due to the fact that the majority of the population in Columbia is white, Boehm said. He also said the black population follows Caucasian drivers in the number of traffic violations because they are the second largest population group in Columbia and due to their location in the city. In 2007 police stopped 2,337 black males and 1,387 black females.
“If you analyze where the majority of traffic stops are, they are in the central city which is a heavily African-American populated area,” Boehm said.
There are more officers assigned to this area because historically, most calls come from the central city, which results in more traffic stops, Boehm said.
Boehm also said while some believe these numbers suggest racial profiling, CPD officers do not act according to race.
“There have been no substantiated claims of racial profiling against the department,” Boehm said. “The numbers are the way they are.”
Porscha Kirkwood, vice-president of the Legion of Black Collegians, said that as an organization, LBC has not encountered profiling from the police.
“Other members have encountered problems with the police, but as a whole organization, there have been no problems,” Kirkwood said.
Last semester, LBC hosted a forum for students, MU Police Department and CPD, which was deemed successful by Kirkwood. Students asked many different questions about police operations, including speeding.
“Police said that cars going over 10 miles per hour are possible targets to get pulled over, and they explained the different technology they use for monitoring the speed of different vehicles,” Kirkwood said.
Police did not address racial profiling at the forum.
“As an organization, I feel we have been treated fairly,” Kirkwood said.
In addition to giving traffic statistics based on race, the report gives statistics for different age groups. In all races, police stop drivers between the ages of 18 and 29 most often while drivers over the age of 40 are stopped the least.
“In general terms, older adults, especially middle age to older females, are safer drivers,” Boehm said.