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CA Police Spend Little Time On Crime Control, Study Finds

A new report adds to a growing line of research showing that police departments don’t solve serious or violent crimes with any regularity, and in fact, spend very little time on crime control, in contrast to popular narratives. The report by advocacy groups Catalyst California and the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California relies on county budget numbers and new policing data provided under the state’s Racial and Identity Profiling Act, which took effect in 2019, Reuters reports. The law requires police to report demographic and other basic information about their work, including the duration of stops and what actions were taken, such as ordering someone out of a car.


Records provided by the sheriff’s departments in Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego and Riverside showed the same longstanding pattern of racial disparities in police stops around the U.S. Black people in San Diego were more than twice as likely than white residents to be stopped by sheriff’s deputies, for example. More notably, researchers analyzed the data to show how officers spend their time. The patterns that emerge tell a striking story about how policing actually works. Those results comport with existing research showing that U.S. police spend much of their time conducting racially biased stops and searches of minority drivers, often without reasonable suspicion, rather than “fighting crime.”

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A daily report co-sponsored by Arizona State University, Criminal Justice Journalists, and the National Criminal Justice Association

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