San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne said Tuesday that the department will overhaul its racial data collection policies on traffic stops.
“We’ve got to build that system almost from scratch,” Lansdowne told KPBS’s “Midday Edition.”
Lansdowne said he’s meeting with local civil rights and neighborhood advocacy organizations to develop a new plan.
The chief’s stance has shifted in the weeks since our investigation showed officers were not following department policy to collect racial data at every traffic stop. During our reporting, Lansdowne issued a memo reiterating to all officers the department’s requirement to gather this information.
Police department data shows an uptick in collection since Lansdowne’s released his memo in late October. But an initial analysis of the information shows the data likely still isn’t being collected every time a person is pulled over.
The majority of big city police departments have policies to collect such data, and criminal justice experts say the effort is an important way to monitor and prevent police racial profiling.