Richmond Police Chief Calls Addressing DWB an "Opportunity"

Affiliate: ACLU of Virginia
December 16, 1999 12:00 am

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Richmond Police Chief Calls Addressing DWB an “Opportunity”


RICHMOND, VA – According to a story in this week’s Richmond Free Press, Richmond’s Police Chief Jerry Oliver says that he is taking the national controversy over racial profiling and doing positive things with it.

The Free Press reported that Oliver told the Astoria Beneficial Club last month that he is going to begin collecting data on police stops voluntarily, without being forced to by law.

Racial profiling, he said, becomes “an opportunity to further our community policing philosophy and once again an opportunity to build capital in our community trust account.”

So he created the “Traffic Stops Task Force,” Oliver said, and “invited more than 20 citizens to participate along with our police officers and other police department members.”

Specifically, he invited “the local branch of the NAACP to participate, as well as the leader of the local Muslim temple and other community activists,” Oliver said.

The newspaper reported that for six weeks the task force – including ministers, civil rights workers, young African American men and police officers – hammered out methods to be used in data collection.

On January 1, Richmond police will begin collecting traffic stop data in a manner that Oliver intends to become “a national model.” He also said that doing so, “will subject us to the national spotlight and scrutiny on this highly sensitive matter.”

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