Local police departments submit traffic stop data

Thursday, July 5, 2007

All police departments located within the borders of Barry County complied with state mandates and submitted traffic stop information to the Missouri Attorney General's Office. This information is now part of the state's 2006 Racial Profiling Report.

Cassville, Exeter, Purdy, Seligman, Washburn and Wheaton police departments made a total of 2,939 traffic stops in 2006, which was 36 percent more than the 2,146 stops made in 2005.

For the second year in a row, Cassville and Seligman police officers recorded the most traffic stops with 1,492 and 667 respectively. Cassville traffic stops nearly doubled in 2006 while Seligman's decreased by more than 100.

Washburn officers tallied the fewest traffic stops with only 44 made in 2006, which is a little more than half of the 71 stops made in 2005.

An overview of traffic data submitted by each police department is provided below.

Cassville police

The Cassville Police Department made 1,492 traffic stops in 2006. Of those stops, 1,423 of the drivers were white, seven were black, 38 were Hispanic, 21 were Asian and two were American Indian.

These traffic stops resulted in 142 searches, which equated to a search rate of 9.52 percent. A total of 68 arrests were made following the searches. Of those arrested, 34 were apprehended on outstanding warrants, six on drug violations, 11 for traffic violations and six for driving while intoxicated and blood alcohol content.

According to Cassville's report, 9.56 percent of white drivers stopped by police were searched as compared to 10.53 percent of Hispanic drivers, 4.76 percent of Asian drivers and 50 percent of American Indian drivers.

Stops made by Cassville officers resulted in the issuance of 344 citations and 900 warnings. Traffic stop data also revealed that local officers stopped 872 male drivers as compared to 620 female drivers.

Exeter police

Officers with the Exeter Police Department made 140 traffic stops in 2006 and conducted seven searches following those stops. All the drivers who were searched were white.

The 140 traffic stops resulted in three arrests, 84 citations and 50 warnings. One driver was arrested for an outstanding warrant, one for a drug violation and one for a traffic violation.

According to Exeter's report, 5 percent of the drivers stopped by police were search. Of those stopped, 80 were male and 60 were female.

Purdy police

A total of 279 traffic stops were recorded by Purdy police officers in 2006, which is a 53 percent increase over the 182 traffic stops made in 2005. In 2006, 244 of the stops involved white drivers and 29 involved Hispanic drivers. There were also four Asian drivers stopped and one black driver.

A little over 10 percent of Purdy traffic stops resulted in a search, which was the highest search rate among local police departments.

The 28 searches resulted in 13 arrests on the following charges: nine, outstanding warrants; six, traffic violations; one, drug violation; one, offense against person; and one, driving while intoxicated. Officers also issued 126 citations and 142 warnings.

Data submitted by the Purdy Police Department revealed that 9.02 percent of white drivers who were stopped were searched as compared to 20.69 percent of the Hispanics.

Seligman police

Officers with the Seligman Police Department made a total 667 traffic stops in 2006, which was a 23 percent decrease from the previous year.

In 2006, 617 of the drivers stopped were white, one was black, 40 were Hispanic, seven were Asian and two were American Indian. The 667 total stops resulted in 11 arrests, 390 citations and 171 warnings. Of those arrested, five were for outstanding warrants, two for drug violations, one for a traffic violation and three for driving while intoxicated or blood alcohol content.

According to Seligman's traffic data, white drivers were searched more often than Hispanic drivers. Only 2.5 percent of Hispanic drivers were searched as compared to 3.4 percent of the white drivers.

Stops involving male drivers were double those involving female drivers. Seligman officers stopped 448 men as compared to 219 women.

Washburn police

The Washburn Police Department tallied 44 stops in 2006. All but one of the stops involved white drivers.

These stops resulted in three arrests, 16 citations and 27 warnings. One arrest was for an outstanding warrant and the other two were for a traffic violation and driving while intoxicated. Traffic stops involved 39 male drivers and five female drivers.

Wheaton police

Wheaton police officers made 317 traffic stops, which was almost triple the 124 stops recorded in 2005. All the drivers stopped in 2006 were white.

Of the drivers stopped, 2.21 percent or seven were searched. The searches produced 15 arrests. Of those arrested, eight were apprehended on outstanding warrants and seven were charged with driving while intoxicated or blood alcohol content.

Wheaton officers, who stopped 196 male and 121 female drivers, also issued 221 citations and 48 warnings.

Missouri's racial profiling report, including individual reports from each law enforcement agency, can be found on Attorney General Jay Nixon's website at www.ago.mo.gov.

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