June 23, 2010

 

Taylor Wins Funding For Implementation
of Traffic Stop Data Collection Laws


Funds provide for data analysis of racial profiling, provide grants to local law enforcement

(MADISON) The Joint Committee on Finance today approved a funding plan for collection of racial data at traffic stops in Wisconsin. Senator Lena C. Taylor (D-Milwaukee), who championed the policy through the budget negotiations and served on the advisory committee creating the administrative rules for the program, praised the actions of the committee. The funding was considered an absolutely vital component to enforcement and implementation of data collection laws which will become effective on January 1st of 2011.

“Data collection at traffic stops is the law in Wisconsin,” Taylor noted. “Despite objections of some, there was no stopping that law from becoming a reality. I am glad that the committee approved the funding so that no local law enforcement officer or agency was forced to accept an unfunded state mandate – something that those objecting had no problem doing.”

The funds used for the program come from revenues created by the Justice Information System Surcharge on every forfeiture paid in the state. Estimates from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau anticipate that almost 1 million dollars will be made available to administer the program, which includes local funding and training for law enforcement. Taylor noted that data collection is a tool for law enforcement, not something to be afraid off.

“The final authorization of the funds to collect racial profiling data moves Wisconsin forward to utilize this data as a tool to improve local law enforcement and their interaction with the public,” Taylor commented.

“Not only will Wisconsin benefit from being able to use this data for law enforcement education and training, but local law enforcement agencies will benefit from grants to invest in in-squad computers for immediate reporting. Knowledge is power, there can be no harm done with knowing where our public servants in government can improve their service.”

The administrative rules on traffic stop data collection are set to be promulgated by the Office of Justice Assistance in early July following the last period of legislative review. Data collection will begin at all law enforcement initiated traffic stops on January 1.