The Public Safety, Civil Rights & Emergency Management Committee met on May 20, 2015 to discuss repealing the spitting ordinance, lurking ordinance, and a conduct in theaters ordinance. The PCOC’s Investigative Stop study was a discussion item on the agenda.
Director Browne stated that the study is part of a national discussion about investigative detentions and low-level enforcement. Reporting and data collection has been an issue recognized by both the Commission and MPD in the report on low-level enforcement.The Commission recognized a potential policy issue arising in complaints filed with the OPCR; a policy gap between voluntary documentation and mandatory documentation during suspicious person stops. The Commission is in the best situation to perform work in a field like this; they are authorized to focus on these issues by ordinance. The Commission’s research and study on investigative stops will tie in with current work of the City Council and other City departments. Presenting the study data and recommendations are OPCR Legal Analyst Ryan Patrick and PCOC Vice-Chair Jennifer Singleton. Commissioner Laura Westphal was also in attendance.
Legal Analyst Ryan Patrick presented the Investigative Stop data to the City Council. The study looked at 385 of 28,304 suspicious person stops in 2014. Officers documented the reasons for the stops roughly 26% of the time. According to Mr. Patrick, the most frequent results of investigatory stops are advised and sent.
PCOC Vice-Chair Jennifer Singleton discussed the PCOC’s Investigative Stop study recommendations. The recommendations presented to the City Council are: (1) resolve barriers, (2) strengthen data collection by stating the reasonable suspicion for the stop, (3) clarify purpose, (4) capture demographic information, and (5) continuing study. Council Member Cam Gordon asked Vice-Chair Singleton, who will take on the recommendations. The PCOC sent recommendations to the Chief of Police. Council Member Gordon stated the City Council is interested in this issue, and would like the PCOC to keep Council Members updated their progress.