Traffic Data Reports
Fair, impartial, and professional policing is paramount to the legitimacy of the St. Anthony Police Department and all police agencies. We recognize the need for public approval, cooperation, and community with us to achieve our mission, “To improve the overall quality of life by preserving the peace and safety of the community.”
In 2018, the St. Anthony Police Department developed a Strategic Plan with assistance from members of the Department of Justice’s Collaborative Reform Initiative for Technical Assistance team. This plan sought and received input from internal and external stakeholders, and also included a public meeting where community members had an opportunity to contribute to the plan. The Strategic Plan is also on the police department website and availability for public input remains.
One of the identified objectives in the plan was a shift from “traffic enforcement” to a more identifiable focus on “traffic safety.” Speeding, distracted driving, impaired driving, and failing to wear a seatbelt have been the top contributors of fatalities on Minnesota roadways and it is a primary objective to reduce crashes and change unsafe driving behaviors through education and the enforcement of traffic laws. We also know that these driving behaviors are a concern to our community members, as nearly all reports of driving complaints focus on this type of conduct on our roadways.
In 2017, we began coding all of our traffic stops as either a moving violation, a vehicle violation, an investigative stop, or a traffic stop as a result of a 911 call. This was done in an effort to accurately track, report, and adjust as necessary, our education and enforcement actions to align with the Strategic Plan. Each stop classification is defined as follows:
► Moving Violation: Speeding, distracted driving, stop light or stop sign violation, seatbelt violation, etc.
► Vehicle Violation: Expired registration, defective or illegal equipment, etc.
► Investigative Stop: Unlicensed vehicle owner, warrant hit, missing person notification, stolen vehicle hit, involved in articulable suspicious activity, etc.
► 911 Call: Traffic stop that was the result of a call to 911 or other citizen report.
In addition to this classification system, officers were instructed to report on the race and gender of the driver, as perceived by the officer during the course of the traffic stop interaction. With a strong focus on driving behavior (i.e. moving violations), the officer is generally made aware of a moving violation well before any determination of the physical characteristics of the driver can be made. Environmental factors, such as time of day, weather, traffic patterns and location, etc. also make early identification of the driver by the officer less likely. The perceived race of the driver, consistent with the US Census Race Codes, were recorded as one of the following:
► Hispanic or Latino
► Black or African American
► American Indian or Alaskan Native
► Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
In addition, the St. Anthony Police Department implemented a Body Worn Camera (BWC) program in November of 2018. Generally speaking, officers are required to activate their BWC during nearly all interactions with the public, including all traffic stops. Since the inception of the program, a monthly internal audit of the BWC use by officers is conducted. Supervisors randomly select BWC videos and confirm that a video is present for every call requiring its use, that the video was classified properly, and that the officer’s actions were professional and within department policy. Video is also reviewed following any complaint or concern received to access fairness, impartiality, professionalism, and any deviation from department policy.
We strive to improve and encourage inquires, comments and conversations. Anyone who would like to contribute to the discussion should contact the St. Anthony Police Department by calling 612-782-3350, firstname.lastname@example.org or by making an appointment with the Chief of Police.