Ohio to require police departments to keep race, gender stats on - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Ohio to require police departments to keep race, gender stats on traffic stops

(Source: WTOL) (Source: WTOL)
(WTOL) -

Beginning next year, police departments across Ohio will keep track of the race and gender of everyone they pull over or take into questioning for state certification.

Many departments, including TPD, already do this. But now even the smallest police departments will follow suit.

"This is a good idea because more data always is useful," said Lt. Joe Heffernan of Toledo police. "And this is going to be something that different agencies can use to see if they have a problem or not."

Nearly 20 years ago, the University of Toledo released their "Driving While Black" study. That study had an immediate local impact.

"It brought to our attention, that we want to make sure we're not engaging in any kind of bias based policing," Lt. Heffernan said.

Every year, Toledo police publishes a bias based policing report on their website, where users can look at demographics for every traffic stop.

Police say this provides transparency.

"One of the big things in policing today is called police legitimacy," Lt. Heffernan said. "We want the citizens of the city of Toledo to have trust and faith in the job that we are doing."

Heffernan says he hopes all police departments will be held accountable.

The standard for the state certification will take effect in about one year.

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