Below are documents relating to the history of race traffic stop data in the Burlington area:
Racial Disparities in Policing? An Assessment of 2009-10 Traffic Stop Data in Chittenden County, Vermont
Racial profiling in policing has emerged as a significant social issue across the United States, with a Gallup survey finding that 67% of Blacks and 63% of Hispanics generally believe it is common in traffic stops; 50% of non-Hispanic whites concur with that view (Gallup and Newport 2004).
Concerns about unequal police treatment have spread to Chittenden County, Vermont in recent years, coinciding with significant change in the ethnic composition of the population. Concerned community members maintained that race and ethnicity unduly influence policing behavior in the jurisdictions surrounding and including Burlington, whether on foot or traffic patrols. In response, a local community action group— Uncommon Alliance—was formed. The group is comprised of members of the community of color, other concerned citizens, and police chiefs from Burlington, South Burlington, Winooski, and the University of Vermont. As a first step, the parties agreed to cooperate in the collection and analysis of traffic stop data in an attempt to move beyond anecdotal evidence, which was deemed insufficient to confirm or disprove that patterns of racial disparity exist.1
Quotes on the Assessment of Traffic Stop Data 2009 – 2010 in Chittenden County
Trevor Whipple, Chief, South Burlington Police Department
“We are extremely pleased with the community engagement that has evolved during the process of development and refinement of the race data collection tool. Working with the community helps to bring a sense of partnership that guides this process.”
A joint statement from the police chiefs of Winooski, Burlington, South Burlington and UVM announcing the release of the second Data Race Race Report.
“Today, recognizing that disparity continues to exist in the criminal justice system at all levels, we are committed to working tirelessly to both learn and distance ourselves from those historic events, to grow as a community, as organizations, and as individuals. Today the manner in which law enforcement operates in Vermont bears little resemblance to that history. Our challenge lies in educating all members of the justice system, identifying and correcting biases, and fulfilling our commitment to the values of justice, fairness, and public safety, and to robustly address disparate treatment when and where it exists. Without this fundamental commitment, we risk eroding the very foundations of due process and the rule of law that we stand for.”
Statement from the Greater Burlington Multicultural Resource Center and the VT Multicultural Alliance for Democracy
“We are pleased to be here today with representatives from the police depts. of Burlington, S. Burlington, Winooski, and UVM, who have demonstrated a solid commitment to creating bias-free policing within their departments. The release of the 2nd Race Data Collection for traffic stop data is a picture of a point in time examining where we are today. We have inherited racial bias in our mainstream culture that is exhibited through the disparities found in many sectors of our society such as education, employment, housing, health, and the criminal justice system. And thus we have inherited the obligation to deconstruct and disassemble bias, otherwise we are complicit in maintaining the systems that create disparities.”
HAVE THE BURLINGTON POLICE MADE PROGRESS IN REDUCING RACIAL DISPARITIES IN TRAFFIC POLICING? A COMPARISON OF 2009-10 AND 2011-12 DATA1
This document provides an analysis of Burlington Police Department (BPD) race data on traffic stops, arrests, and searches in 2011-12. The results are compared to those reported in Seguino, Brooks, and Mitofsky (2012) for 2009-10. Other jurisdictions in the 2009-10 study have not yet provided a summary of their results, and therefore this brief only references Burlington.
Department report for race data collected during 2013
Notes from Neighborhood Safety Initiative meeting
Department report for race data collected during 2014