In 2007, the six municipal police departments that operate in Barry County made a total of 3,357 traffic stops, according to data submitted to the Missouri Attorney General's Office for the 2007 Racial Profiling Report.
Only a small percentage of these traffic stops resulted in arrests. The Cassville, Exeter, Wheaton, Purdy, Seligman and Washburn police departments reported a total of 108 arrests, which equates to a combined arrest rate of 5.05 percent.
The Cassville Police Department accounted for over half of the traffic stop total, reporting 2,021 stops this past year. This total is a 35 percent increase over 2006 when Cassville officers conducted 1,492 traffic stops.
The Seligman Police Department made the second most traffic stops. Officers reported making 708 stops, which was 41 more than the 667 made in 2006.
Washburn recorded the fewest traffic stops of any area police department. Only eight traffic stops were made during 2007, which is a huge drop from the 44 made in 2006.
An overview of traffic stop data submitted by each of the area police department is provided below.
The Cassville Police Department made 2,021 traffic stops in 2007. Of those stops, 1,916 of the drivers were white, six were black, 59 were Hispanic, 37 were Asian and one was American Indian.
These traffic stops resulted in 161 searches, which equated to a search rate of 4.01 percent. A total of 81 arrests were made following the searches. Of those arrested, 37 were apprehended on outstanding warrants, five on drug violations, 18 for traffic violations and 17 for driving while intoxicated and blood alcohol content.
According to Cassville's report, 8.09 percent of white drivers stopped by police were searched as compared to 8.47 percent of Hispanic drivers and 2.7 percent of Asian drivers.
Stops made by Cassville officers resulted in the issuance of 611 citations and 1,161 warnings. Traffic stop data also revealed that local officers stopped 1,244 male drivers as compared to 777 female drivers.
Officers with the Exeter Police Department made 297 traffic stops in 2007, which was double the 140 traffic stops reported in 2006. There were four searches conducted following those stops, and all the drivers who were searched were white.
The 297 traffic stops resulted in four arrests, 157 citations and 135 warnings. Three drivers were arrested for outstanding warrants and one was arrested for a drug violation.
According to Exeter's report, only 1.35 percent of the drivers stopped by police were searched. Of those stopped, 166 were male and 131 were female.
A total of 223 traffic stops were recorded by Purdy police officers in 2007, which is a 35 percent decrease from the 279 traffic stops made in 2006. In 2007, 180 of the stops involved white drivers and four involved Hispanic drivers.
A little 8.5 percent of Purdy traffic stops resulted in a search. The 19 searches resulted in eight arrests on the following charges: one, drug violation; and six, driving while intoxicated/blood alcohol content. Officers also issued 90 citations and 123 warnings.
Data submitted by the Purdy Police Department revealed that 8.33 percent of white drivers who were stopped were searched as compared to 10.26 percent of the Hispanics.
Officers with the Seligman Police Department made a total 708 traffic stops in 2007. Of that total, 636 of the drivers stopped were white, four were black, 63 were Hispanic and four were Asian.
The stops resulted in six arrests, 597 citations and 100 warnings. Of those arrested, one was for an outstanding warrant and five were for driving while intoxicated or blood alcohol content.
According to Seligman's traffic data, black drivers were searched more often than white and Hispanic drivers. Twenty-five percent of the black drivers who were stopped were searched as compared to 4.25 of the white drivers and 4.76 percent of the Hispanic drivers.
Male drivers were twice as likely to be stopped by Seligman officers than female drivers. In 2007, there were 502 male drivers stopped as compared to 206 females.
The Washburn Police Department tallied only eight stops in 2007. All of the stops involved white drivers.
These stops resulted in one arrest on an outstanding warrant, two citations and six warnings. Traffic stops involved three male drivers and five female drivers.
Wheaton police officers made 100 traffic stops in 2007, which two-thirds less than the 317 traffic stops recorded in 2006. Of the drivers stopped this past year, 83 were white, five were Hispanic and 12 were Asian.
The stops resulted in five searches and eight arrests. Of those arrested, one was apprehended on an outstanding warrant, two were arrested for drug violation, one was arrested for a traffic violation and three were arrested for driving while intoxicated or blood alcohol content.
Wheaton officers, who stopped 47 male and 53 female drivers, also issued 79 citations and 17 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.