New Calif. law requires LEOs to record people's sexual orientation, other data without asking
LEOs have to record subjective data during a stop without asking the person they've stopped for the information
By PoliceOne Staff
SAN DIEGO — A legally-mandated data collection effort intended to track bias and racial profiling has California police officers recording subjective data during stops without asking the person they’ve stopped for the information.
Officers must record data including age, gender and sexual orientation during their interactions with the public, but, by design, they aren’t allowed to ask the person they’re interacting with for the information.
“We’re looking for facts but the facts we’re looking for is the officer’s perception and the circumstances surrounding the stop and the outcome of it,” Joe Kocurek, a spokesman for the bill’s author, Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, said. “The perception precedes the action of stopping a person.”
Officers aren’t allowed to ask people questions to gather the information and they can’t use the person’s driver’s license or other forms of identification to collect the data.
“Officers must document their perceptions when they are formed and use their best judgment,” San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit said in a training video released by the department.
Law enforcement organizations have expressed concerns about the new law, arguing that it essentially forces officers to profile people and discourages minor stops due to the amount of time officers will have to spend inputting data.
The SDPD - one of the first departments to implement the new law - has taken steps to cut down the time officers input data by using a custom electronic data-collection tool. According to the department, a small test group of officers completed the form in about three minutes.