Massachusetts Racial and Gender Profiling Final Report
Page 4 of 5 -- Overall males were more likely to be cited than their representation in either the residential or the driving population estimate. Males were uniformly more likely to be subject to a search and to be cited than women. These findings were consistent across virtually all communities in Massachusetts. This report finds no indication that female drivers, in the aggregate, are more likely to be stopped, cited or subject to a search than their male counterparts. In fact, quite the opposite appears to be the case.
Issues to Consider
Based on the findings of the Massachusetts study, national research on the issue, and recommendations from the Working Group and other stakeholders we offer the following set of issues to consider which provide guidance to those who must begin to formulate policies based on the findings in this report.
Nationwide over 6,000 law enforcement agencies are collecting data on all traffic stops. Traffic stop data collection has been recommended by numerous national professional police organizations as a necessary component of professional policing. As a part of good police practices, all law enforcement agencies in Massachusetts should establish a system to collect and monitor data on all traffic stop activity.
Following national models for traffic stop data collection, a uniform set of data elements to be collected on all stops should be identified. It is important that any new data collection system include information on officer identification and the location of the stop in the required data collection elements. Additionally a specific timetable for data collection, auditing and reporting should be established.
All local police agencies should begin or continue a conversation with members of their community about the existence of disparities in traffic stops, the goals of traffic enforcement and strategies to monitor and reduce such disparities.
Table A: Any Disparity in the Four Summary Measures (N=249)