Amarillo Police Release 2016 Report on Racial Profiling

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An earlier version of this story contained incorrect information about the racial profiling report. The item that has decreased is the number of racial profiling complaints, and the story has been corrected.

The Amarillo Police Department released the 2016 Racial Profiling Report.  

It was released today and overall there’s a slight reduction in profiling for most races.

But one group saw a slight increase in traffic contacts with police.

In Amarillo, several thousands of drivers travel through the interstate highways that come through the heart of town.

And in the process many encounter APD, whether they live here or not. 

And those choice encounters are noted in the racial profiling report. 

It’s required by law to release, but in an effort to be more transparent, APD did a bit more.

“The department has released a lot more data than just the raw data, that we’re required to release to the state in an effort to provide more information to the community,” said Sgt. Brent Barbee, Amarillo Police Department. 

When it comes to traffic stops by race or ethnicity, last year there was a decrease for Blacks, Asians, and Hispanics, as well as Caucasian, and Native Americans.

But there was an increase for Middle Eastern People.

There was also an increase when it comes to police knowing a persons race before they were stopped.

“The department strives to be the most effective, fair and professional organization that we can. That means that the department doesn’t permit any biases based police activity. It doesn’t permit racial profiling. And any of the allegations are very thoroughly investigated,” said Sgt. Barbee.

In 2015, APD’s Internal Affairs Division had three complaints related to racial or bias profiling. 

And last year they only had two.

Officials say a thorough investigation took place for all complaints and there were no findings to punish the officers involved. 

It’s also important to note that the racial profiling data comes from the driving population but it’s compared to the demographics of the resident population.

Which means the numbers aren’t completely from people living in Amarillo, but rather those driving through the city.

Something else that changed…

Before, APD restricted hiring new officers who have lived within a 500-mile radius of Amarillo, for at least five years.

But last year the residency requirements ended, allowing for nationwide recruitment.

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