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Police Traffic Stop Data Reporting Requirement Made Permanent

Local police will permanently have to report data on the race of people they pull over or search under a new law signed by Governor J.B. Pritzker.

They’ll also have to report the reason and outcome of the stop. It’s meant to identify racial bias in policing.

Data from 2017 shows that black drivers in Peoria were more than twice as likely to be stopped and nearly three times more likely to be searched than white drivers.

Peoria Police Chief Loren Marion said that has more to do with the geographic area where police get called. 

"We have more patrol officers south of Forrest Hill because that’s where the call load takes us. We don’t deploy our resources based on ethnicity," he said. 

Marion said drivers are more likely to get pulled over when there’s more police around. He said his department are aware of the numbers and dedicated to transparency.

Rachel Murphy is a staff attorney with the ACLU of Illinois. She said police and the public can use the data as a management tool. 

"It really empowers the community to understand what’s happening from the data perspective and work with their local law enforcement agencies to find solutions that are unique to that community’s needs," she said. 

Police Traffic Stop Data Reporting Requirement Made Permanent

Data collection began in 2004 as an initiative sponsored by then-State Sen. Barack Obama. The study was set to expire this month, but the new law makes it permanent.

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Dana Vollmer is a reporter with WGLT. Dana previously covered the state Capitol for NPR Illinois and Peoria for WCBU.