The Racial and Identity Profiling Act of 2015, required all California law enforcement agencies to collect and report data to the California Attorney General regarding the demographic characteristics of persons detained or interactions in which a search was conducted. Pedestrian and vehicle stops, as well as detentions that occur during the course of a call for service are included. Based upon the number of sworn deputies we employ, the Act required the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department to begin collecting data effective January 1, 2021.
The law requires deputies to make judgements on the perceived demographic profile of individuals, yet it specifically prohibits them from asking questions regarding the same. Deputies are required to speculate about the following:
· Race and Ethnicity
· Sexual Orientation, including gay, lesbian, or bisexual
· Level of English Fluency
If, during the course of the contact, the deputy positively confirms or disproves previous assumptions about any of the preceding categories, the deputy is prohibited from using that information in this report. This report is based upon outward appearances only.
In an effort to add context to this data, as well as increase transparency about police contacts, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office has included meaningful data not required by the Act, and therefore not reported to or by the California Department of Justice (DOJ).Specifically, we have added information regarding:
· Population Demographics
· Reported Suspect Demographics, as applicable
· Arrestee Demographics, as applicable
· Victim Demographics, as applicable
· Whether any of the DOJ required reporting criteria could be perceived prior to contact (i.e. the race or ethnicity of a person may not be perceivable at the time a traffic violation is observed)
The data in our interactive dashboard includes filters such as time frame, demographics, and jurisdiction.