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Law enforcement diversity may improve policing, study shows

Police Duty
Posted at 1:44 PM, Feb 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-11 14:44:25-05

CHICAGO (AP) — New research suggests hiring more nonwhite and female officers could help improve police treatment of people of color.

For the study, scientists looked at almost 3 million Chicago Police Department patrol shifts from 2012 to 2015.

The study was compiled of a panel of 2.9 million officer shifts and 1.6 million enforcement events - such as stops and arrests - by nearly 7,000 officers between 2012 through 2015.

They found that compared to white officers on the same assignments in the same neighborhoods, female, Hispanic, and Black officers were less likely to stop, arrest and use force against civilians.

The study found that over the course of 100 shifts, Black officers made, on average, about 16 fewer stops and two fewer arrests — and used force about .10 fewer times than a white officer.

According to The AP, that is a 20% to 30% reduction compared to white officers in comparable scenarios.

Local activists say they’re not surprised by the results, and want more of the same kind of research focused on other police reform proposals such as the use of body cameras.