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Davenport Police traffic study leads to broader police-community conversations

DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) – The City of Davenport is taking a look at how race factors into police traffic stops.

It’s something that has been done since 2011. And while residents say they are intrigued by the numbers what they’re more interested in is accessibility to their police force.

“I think it’s important for the community to be involved in the policing,” said Salvador Lopez.

The Davenport man says he has seen some changes in how Davenport Police are operating.

“I’ve seen some improvements. I think we can do better,” Lopez said.

And doing better is exactly what brought him to Davenport’s traffic study presentation.

“We need more blacks and browns in the police department. That was one of the reasons I came down here. To see if that could be answered.”

Conversations about question’s like Lopez’s is why Davenport Police Chief Paul Sikorski says it is important to present things like traffic stop studies.

“We want to be out in our community, we want our community to trust us, we want them to see what we do and how we do it,” Chief Sikorski said.

Since St. Ambrose University began analyzing the data for DPD in 2011 not much has changed.

Three different types of officers are analyzed: patrol, traffic and neighborhoods energized to succeed or “NETS” officers. Out of those groups NETS (*.12) were more likely to stop a minority driver, followed by patrol (*.10) and then traffic (*.01).

“Most of this seems to be generated in areas that have high minority concentrations,” said SAU Professor Chris Barnum who analyzed the 2016 data.

Most of those areas were shown to be west of Locust Street….

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