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Funding urged for profiling study

Lawmaker says survey should be Romney priority

By Bill Dedman, Globe Correspondent, 7/24/2003

    On city boulevards and rural lanes, whites and women are far more likely to receive written warnings instead of tickets when stopped for identical traffic offenses, according to a Boston Globe study of newly released state records.


Police plan public meeting

Chiefs deny racial profiling

Civil rights advocates laud plan

Police chiefs decry study

Racial profiling is confirmed
Northeastern study [PDF]
Report summary
Who got a passing grade?
Police response [MS Word]

Police flouting 'no fix' law on tickets

Profiling study cites dozens of locales Charts
Northeastern study [PDF]

Reilly starts push to end profiling in police stops

Boston police to get tough on tickets

Judge: Suspect must stay in jail

Seeing bias, evidence tossed

Deeper look at profiling

Funding urged for study

Ticketing cited despite curbs

Romney backs profile tracking
People asked to join task force

Chief: Glitch caused error

Task force to review data


Day 1:
Race, sex, and age drive ticketing
Minority officers are stricter on minorities
Boston to track all stops by police

Who gets fined for speeding
Minority officers
Most-favored status
One officer's week

Ticketing whites vs. minorities
Large departments | All

Ticketing women vs. men
Large departments | All

Day 2:
Punishment varies by town and officer

How tickets raise insurance
Ranking the departments
Littering is worse?

Toughest on speeders
Large departments | All
Locals vs. out-of-towners
Large departments | All

Day 3:
Troopers fair, tough in traffic encounters

Frequent ticketers
How fast can you go?

Editorial: Tickets to fix
Op-Ed: Looking deeper
Op-Ed: Study proves nothing
Profiles in prejudice


Q & A
Secretary of Public Safety Edward A. Flynn, the senior law enforcement official in Massachusetts, spoke with the Globe about this series. Q & A

Detailed report
A closer look at how the Globe analyzed hundreds of thousands of traffic tickets.
Download study
This .PDF document requires Adobe Acrobat

Online chat
Globe reporter Bill Dedman chatted with readers about this series.
Read full transcript


In January, the Globe published the first results of its analysis.

Part 1:
Citations reveal disparity
Totals key to computations

Tracking tickets
Searches by race and age

Searching minorities more often
Ticketing their own

Part 2:
Police not pressed on race
Tewksbury cop is tops
Fridays worst for tickets
Scope of monitoring reduced

Where race was not recorded

Failing to record the race
Searching more cars

The state should find the money to complete its study of racial and gender profiling by police officers, the chairman of the state Legislature's public safety committee said yesterday.

Responding to a series of articles in The Boston Globe on disparities in traffic tickets and warnings, Senator Jarrett T. Barrios asked the Senate Committee on Ways and Means to include funds in revisions to this year's budget. Barrios, a Democrat from Cambridge, is the Senate chairman of the Joint Committee on Public Safety.

The Globe reported this week that local police in Massachusetts were far more likely to write warnings to whites and women for the same traffic offenses. In 2000, the Legislature ordered the Registry of Motor Vehicles to track a year's tickets and warnings as a test for evidence of profiling. The Registry staff typed in all tickets, but stopped after two months of warnings in 2001, for lack of funds.

Governor Mitt Romney asked for $840,000 in this year's budget to continue the effort, but the Legislature cut that to $150,000. Barrios said he asked the Republican governor this week to sign on to his request, but Romney declined.

''They asked for the money in the first place, so presumably they believed it was important back then,'' Barrios said.

The Romney administration said it still supports studying the issue, but now isn't the time to add to the budget.

''Now that the Legislature has overridden 200 vetoes, for a total of $175 million, it doesn't make fiscal sense for us to ask for more funding that would throw the budget even more out of balance,'' said Dave Shaw, spokesman for Romney's secretary of public safety, Edward A. Flynn.

Two House members of the public safety committee said they joined in Barrios's request: the House chairman of the committee, Representative Timothy J. Toomey Jr., a Cambridge Democrat, and Representative Michael E. Festa, a Melrose Democrat and chairman of the state party's public policy committee.

Bill Dedman can be reached at The Globe study of tickets and warnings is at

This story ran on page B6 of the Boston Globe on 7/24/2003.
Copyright 2003 Globe Newspaper Company.

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