EUGENE, Ore. — The community came together Thursday night to talk about a biased-based policing pilot that goes into effect in January.
In light of the outrage over the shooting and killing of an 18 year-old unarmed black man in Ferguson, Missouri community leaders say it’s only fitting Eugene is having a discussion about biased-based policing.
It was a packed house at that public forum.
Eugene-Springfield NAAP President Eric Richardson and LULAC Council President Juan Carlos Valle lead the discussion.
Valle recounted a number of times where he was pulled over for nothing more than his ethnicity.
“He says I saw you in the mirror.With my broken English trying to explain to him no I didn’t I’m on a bike, we were there at the same time. His words to me were, your kind pisses me off,” said Valle.
Valle also expressed concern over how EPD would be able to collect data and analyze data in their biased-based policing pilot.
It’d work like this: during a traffic stop, officers would collect information including sex, race and ethnicity.
Chief Pete Kerns says this has never been done before because the department hasn’t had the software to collect the data.
But that’s all about to change.
“Officers will have either a tablet or a computer that’s connected to the records management system. If they conduct a traffic stop after the stop or during the stop they’ll bring up a module like a window, that will ask them to fill out check certain boxes,” said Chief Kerns.
Chief Kerns says officers will be required to do this during every traffic stop.
Just this November EPD switched over to a an electronic records system.
They hope to have the demographic data collection software up and running by next year.
Only about half a dozen officers out of about 80 patrol officers will participate in the year-long pilot.
Chief kerns says they want to eliminate error, that’s why they’re trying out such a small number.