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Statistical Transparency of Policing (STOP) Nevada Data Collection Project

Source: http://trafficstops.ctdata.org/reports

A cross-disciplinary collaborative team of University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) researchers will be awarded federal grant funds this year for a Statistical Transparency of Policing (STOP) Nevada Data Collection Project. This project will align with the requirements of Senate Bill 236 (SB236) passed during the 2021 Nevada Legislative session. SB236, sponsored by Senator Dallas Harris, requires law agencies to:

  • Establish provisions relating to the recording, collection, and review of information concerning traffic stops made by law enforcement officers
  • Impose certain duties on the Department of Public Safety and law enforcement agencies regarding the recording, collection, and review of such information
  • Authorize the Department to adopt regulations relating to the recording, collection, and review of such information

Researchers at UNLV will form a partnership among strategic university programs including the Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine (KSOM), School of Public Health (SPH), College of Engineering (COE), Transportation Research Center (TRC), Department of Criminal Justice, and Department of Psychology to create and maintain an interactive dashboard of law enforcement traffic stops for use by stakeholders and the public, as well as create and generate a traffic stop data analysis and findings annual report.

Similar projects in states such as Connecticut and Oregon provide examples for how police stop data can be analyzed and shared with the public to provide useful and actionable information in compliance with the requirements of SB236. Connecticut’s Racial Profiling Prohibition Project provides public access to raw traffic stop data and tables for each police district in the state, including annual reports. Oregon’s Statistical Transparency of Policing (STOP) data dashboard provides the public with an interactive display of police stop data. This includes:

  • Descriptives: who is being stopped
  • Veil of Darkness: tests for disparities in the decision to stop a driver
  • Predicted Disposition: whether adverse outcomes such as citations, searches, and arrests correlate to racial and ethnic identities
  • Hit Rates: Hits are searches that result in evidence or contraband; this analysis compares hit rates across different racial/ethnic groups

This research project will be led by Principal Investigator (PI) Dr. Deborah Kuhls, Professor of Surgery and Assistant Dean for Research at KSOM. Dr. Kuhls has over 20 years of experience as a trauma surgeon and is currently the PI on a Nevada Office of Traffic Safety-funded traffic database longitudinal research project. Key research team members for this project include:

  • Co-Investigator Courtney Coughenhour (Associate Professor, SPH)
  • Maxim Gakh (Associate Professor, SPH; Associate Director, UNLV Health Law Program)
  • Shashi Nambisan (Professor of Civil Engineering; TRC Director)
  • Pushkin Kachroo (Lincy Professor, COE; Director, Mendenhall Innovation Program)
  • Erin Breen (Director, Road Equity Alliance Project; TRC)
  • William Sousa (Professor, Department of Criminal Justice; Director, Center for Crime and Justice Policy)
  • David Copeland (Associate Professor of Psychology)
  • Kavita Batra (Assistant Professor-Medical Research Biostatistician, KSOM)
  • Laura Gryder (Senior Grants Specialist, KSOM)