How June 30, 2008. The data from
How did the author test his hypothesis?The hypothesis of this study was if patterns of social control on a macro level are connected to a community’s desire to keep the safety through proactive law enforcement or through targeting specific groups of people or areas. The way Renauer tested this hypothesis was by examining data collected from the Portland Police Bureau in Oregon. The data was taken from onboard or handheld computers from the time period of January 1, 2004 to June 30, 2008. The data from the stops was then plotted on a map into 94 different neighborhood boundaries. Roughly 88,000 stops had to be excluded from the analysis due to lack of information. The data also included traffic stops made by regular patrol units, but not from traffic enforcement units since those units are focused on specific high traffic areas. What were the author’s results concerning stop and searches?When examining the number of stops and searches the results show in descending order that white people are stopped the most, with black people following in second, and hispanics in third. However, the black and hispanic populations were severely overrepresented in this study. While the two populations had less stops overall, there were more individual stops than people of that ethnicity in each neighborhood. For instance in the results Renauer explains that the population of black people was only 6% yet they made up 17% of all traffic stops. However, Renauer accounts for bias in his study and applies a negative binomial regression and controls for spatial autocorrelation. The results then determine that the public make calls for service are represented by a public desire for police action rather than targeting people of a specific race or ethnicity.What policy implications result from these findings?The implications this study brings about is that both police and citizens need to understand and have a dialogue about the consensus and conflict perspectives. Renauer provides an example by stating that police departments will often make information about neighborhood variation in crimes and arrests available to the public. However, what these departments fail to do is release records containing the neighborhood variation in citizen calls. Essentially what this would prove is that the police activity in these neighborhoods is wanted and not merely specific targeting or profiling. Without the data from citizen service calls people are left to their own devices and come up with the notion that police stops and searches are solely based on stereotypes and biases. Which may or may not be true, but without the proper information made available it is impossible to say.