2020 Vehicle Stops Report Changes
The 2018 Vehicle Stops Report (VSR) marked 18 years of annual reporting on vehicle stops in Missouri. During this time, only limited changes were made to the VSR, the most notable being the addition of the residency question for the 2018 report. Nearly two decades of reporting and input from stakeholders have revealed areas of needed improvement in the VSR. Beginning in the 2020 reporting year, the Attorney General’s Office will be implementing changes to the VSR that will allow better analysis with the hope of driving more informed dialogue surrounding the report.
See the links below for a summary of the changes and a template 2020 VSR form.
2020 VSR Changes Summary
2020 VSR Template Form
2020 VSR Raw Data Template (This spreadsheet can
be used to track vehicle stops throughout the year for easy reporting and
analysis in the future by smaller agencies. Alternatively, records management
system vendors can use this template to better understand the format for raw
data submission to the Attorney General’s Office.)
MISSOURI VEHICLE STOPS REPORT
2019 Annual Report | 2019 Executive Summary | Rules & Regulations
Concerns by the citizens of Missouri and the Missouri legislature regarding allegations of bias in traffic enforcement prompted the passage of SB 1053 (2000). SB 1053 created Section 590.650, RSMo. which became effective August 28, 2000. This statute created the Vehicle Stops Report and required that the Attorney General’s Office collect and report on traffic stops conducted by law enforcement officers across the state of Missouri.
Under § 590.650, RSMo. all peace officers in the state must report specific information, including a driver’s race, for each vehicle stop made in the state. Law enforcement agencies must provide their vehicle stops data to the Attorney General by March 1, and the Attorney General must compile the data and report to the Governor, General Assembly, and each law enforcement agency no later than June 1 of each year. The law allows the Governor to withhold state funds for any agency that does not submit its vehicle stops data to the Attorney General by the statutory deadline.
reviewing analysis of the Vehicle Stops Report (VSR) and conferring with law
enforcement leaders across the state in 2019, the Attorney General’s Office
(AGO) began implementing comprehensive changes to the VSR. These changes will
improve the information collected for the report while allowing for a
fundamental shift in the level of analysis possible through the VSR. Three new
questions have been added to the report that collect information on officer
assignment during the stop, the residential zip code of the stopped driver, and
the cause of citations and/or warnings issued to the driver. In addition, other
questions have been adjusted for clarity or to improve the value of the data
they collect by adding new response options.
The most significant change to the VSR is its shift toward collecting disaggregated data from across the state. Currently, agencies only report the aggregate numbers of stops meeting the criteria for each question broken down only by race, for example 200 searches of Hispanic drivers over the course of the year. This reporting framework prevents multi-variate analysis with variables like driver age, driver sex, and time of stop that could significantly improve VSR analysis. To correct this, the AGO is moving to implement an optional data collection framework that collects all variables for each stop an agency made during the year. These changes became effective January 2020 and implementation efforts across the state are ongoing. The benefits of these changes will begin to manifest in the 2020 report released next year and will be fully realized by the 2021 report. The
benefits of these changes will be fully realized by the 2021 report.
The summary of statewide vehicle stops data has been provided by Dr. Scott H. Decker, Foundation Professor Emeritus in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Arizona State University; Dr. Richard Rosenfeld, Curators’ Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Missouri-St. Louis; and Dr. Jeff Rojek, associate professor in the School of Criminal Justice and Director of the Center for Anti-Counterfeiting and Product Protection at Michigan State University.