Oregon: Police chiefs have concerns as state mandates new data collection

The state mandate for police to collect race and gender data could lead to a downturn in some officer activity.

Local police leaders expressed that and other concerns about House Bill 2355, which requires police to document race and gender during traffic stops “to identify patterns or practices of profiling.” The law kicked into effect this summer but the state is giving more time for smaller departments to sort out how to gather, store and submit data.

Hermiston Police Chief Jason Edmiston said his department has to start by July 1, but will roll out the program in April so officers have time to learn the system. He said he anticipates at least one side effect.

“I think we’re going to see a very slight dip in officer initiated activity and a slight dip in traffic stops,” Edmiston said.