California's Racial and Identity Profiling Act of 2015 (RIPA) is required via legislation. This law requires nearly all California law enforcement agencies to collect, maintain, and analyze demographic data on all detentions and searches, thereby codifying the recommendation of the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing which aimed to improve understanding and create evidence based policies through this data collection.
RIPA requires the majority of California's law enforcement agencies to collect information on all stops by their officers, excluding stops by custodial officers and those that take place in a custodial setting. A "stop" is defined as any detention or search, including consensual searches. This would include calls for service where a detention has been conducted.
When initially recording the information about each stop (the information that becomes the stop data report) officers will select from a standardized list of responses for each of the categories of information. These standardized lists will ensure that the data collected is uniform for all agencies. When providing the "reason for the stop" and "basis for the search" (if one is conducted), officers are also required to complete an explanatory field (of no more than 250 characters), in which the officer explains in their own words why the person was stopped and/or searched.
The proposed goal by the RIPA Board of this explanatory field is to obtain richer information about the reason for the stop and/or search beyond what is contained in the standardized "check the box" lists. And, as required by the RIPA regulations, the explanation provided by the officer in these open fields must include additional detail beyond the general check boxes selected. However, in doing so, law enforcement agencies must adhere to their statutory responsibility to protect the privacy of the person stopped as well as the officer involved.
Use the following links to access our Officer Initiated Contact data: