Proposed Colorado law would force police to collect racial profiling data

From The Denver Post:  Colorado may join other states in collecting statistics on racial profiling as part of a sweeping, national call for improved relationships between police and their communities.

A series of hearings have been held at the state Capitol where lawmakers have listened to police chiefs, civil rights activists and data analysis experts on how best to track the demographics of people stopped by police officers and sheriff’s deputies in Colorado.

Police departments have not outright refused to collect the data, or denied its potential importance, but they have warned lawmakers that data collection would burden officers on the street and cost departments money that otherwise could be used to improve public safety.

“It comes with a large investment of resources if we want to do it as a state,” said Amanda Terrell-Orr, a planning and grants administrator with the Colorado Springs Police Department.

Denver Deputy Police Chief Matt Murray said the data collection would be expensive and time consuming for officers.

“Even if data collection takes 45 seconds, add that to all of the calls we get,” Murray said. “Response times would go up.”

But those who monitor police work said the data could be critical in improving police transparency.

Nick Mitchell, Denver’s independent monitor, said he routinely hears from people at community events who express concerns about racial profiling by Denver police.

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