DPS to hire third-party contractor to review traffic data - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

DPS to hire third-party contractor to review traffic data

Amarillo, TX - One law enforcement agency is hoping to end increasing racial profiling accusations.

In an effort to monitor racial profiling, Texas DPS acknowledged last month they are asking drivers their race...and now they are taking it a step further.

DPS will be hiring a third-party contractor to review how their traffic data is collected and analyzed.

DPS would no go on-camera, but provided Newschannel 10 with a statement.

Spokesman Tom Vinger says they have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to racial profiling and troopers are held to the highest standards of conduct.

For that reason, the new analysis will be done. APD Sergeant Brent Barbee says their protocol is similar.

"We have a very specific policy that bars bias-based police actions," says Barbee. "That's the term that's really the more accurate term for what people call racial profiling."

But unlike DPS, APD does not plan on making changes anytime soon. Barbee says if there were stats showing the need for changes, the chief would hire or do whatever is necessary.

"If we have an officer who has not conducted himself professionally as expected of him, then that officer can be re-trained or that officer can be disciplined. We have very few complaints of this nature. I think that says a great deal for the officers here."

Both DPS and APD say transparency is their ultimate goal.

"The object of the game is to monitor and make sure that the department is conducting itself professionally, ethically, and not acting out of bias," says Barbee.

Per state law, both organizations are required to provide a report of all their stops. The new report for 2015 will be available in March.

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