Prince William police generic

Prince William police will begin collecting demographic data pertaining to traffic stops beginning July 1 as a result of a new law aimed at banning racial or “bias-based” profiling by law enforcement. 

The new law, known as the Community Policing Act, was sponsored by Del. Luke Torian, D-52nd, of Woodbridge, and approved by the General Assembly in March. It prohibits the Virginia State Police and local police and sheriff’s departments from engaging in bias-based profiling and requires officers to collect and report additional data pertaining to motor vehicle or investigatory stops that will be compiled in a statewide database.

Currently, police officers in Virginia are not required to report the race, ethnicity or gender of drivers during traffic stops. They are also not required to provide written documentation or report “warnings” that produce no arrest or summons. Starting in July, police officers across Virginia will begin documenting the following information of individuals on all traffic stop encounters: 

  • the race, ethnicity, age, and gender of the person stopped
  • the reason for the stop
  • the location of the stop
  • any warnings, written citations, summons or arrests as well as the violations or charges cited 
  • whether any vehicles or persons are searched

Prince William County police said Monday that some of this data was previously collected on stops that resulted in an arrest or a court summons. But, they said, some of the questioning that will be done by police during traffic stops is new for the police department. 

That includes the reporting of written warning notices, something the department has not done in the past. The written warnings are not tickets and don’t require any action by recipients.

“These notices are considered only a warning of an infraction and are not meant to serve as a citation of a violation requiring a court appearance or payment of a fine,” said police spokesman 1st Sgt. Jonathan Perok. “No action by the recipient will be needed following the issuance of a warning notice by an officer.”

Perok added that the police department “remains committed to ensuring all community members are treated fairly and impartially.”

The data gathered from traffic stops and police investigations under the new law will be collected in a database maintained by the state police for the purpose of monitoring any evidence of bias-based profiling. The Virginia State Police will annually report the findings and analysis of the data to the governor, General Assembly and attorney general. 

Reach Daniel Berti at dberti@fauquier.com

You must be logged in to react.
Click any reaction to login.
0
0
0
0
0

Recommended for you

(7) comments

sidewinder

Sounds like a waste of the police officers' time to me.

MacDade

My Question - What took sooo "D" long? I got a 40mph in 25mph zone speeding ticket.. Did not argue because I didn't even know I was speeding, went to traffic court in Manassas, court 3 quarters full, NOTHING but Black and Brown folks. Only thing WHITE was the Policeman and the Judge! Thought of an old Sanford and Son episode. WHAT, White Folks don't speed in PWC?!

rrbhokies

Translation: More tickets for everyone and more income for the County. Our Police force are now equal opportunity discriminatory offendors.

Uber

We are just going with BLM? Totally a threat to America and to change its history. By the way, using just BLM and not any of the other 200 different races in this country is discrimination. Tearing down a statue has what meaning to slaves? He saved America.

JosephGeorge4Neabsco

“He saved America”?

Drronchapman

Imagine he’s talking about the statues of Abraham Lincoln being torn down.

Kevin Raymond

Who is he that saved America?? Not Drump!!!!! Biden will!!!

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.