One of the city’s long-term goals to address public safety involves requesting traffic stop data from law enforcement agencies as required by California’s Racial and Identity Profiling Act of 2015.
Under the law, officers have to report data on every traffic stop and “capture the officer’s initial perception of the people stopped.” The law intends to build transparency and examine whether a department is profiling certain demographics and stopping them more frequently. All county law enforcement agencies must collect stop data starting Jan. 1, 2022, and submit it to the California Department of Justice annually beginning April 1, 2023.
On July 27, 2021, the San Mateo County civil grand jury released a report and made recommendations to all 17 of the county’s law enforcement agencies. The report, “Building Greater Trust Between the Community & Law Enforcement Via the Racial and Identity Profiling Act,” recommends that all local agencies start reporting data as soon as possible and “begin evaluating the collected data to identify possible signs of biased policing.” The grand jury also recommended that, starting in the second quarter of 2022, each agency should provide reports on RIPA data and how it is being used to address potential identity biases.
Even though Half Moon Bay does not have its own law enforcement agency, the city is required to respond to the report within 90 days, and the City Council is expected to draft a letter on Oct. 5.
— August Howell