Stephens County Commissioners filed a report after hearing numbers in a racial profiling policy.
The Stephens County Sheriff's Office is partially exempted from having to file racial profiling reports because every sheriff's department vehicle is equipped with video and audio equipment, along with maintaining those videos for 90 days.
The Sheriff's department has adopted a policy on racial profiling that:
• Defines acts constituting racial profiling;
• Strictly prohibits peace officers employed by the SCSO from engaging in racial profiling;
• Implements a process by which an individual may file a complaint with the SCSO if the individual believes that a peace officer employed by the SCSO has engaged in racial profiling with respect to the individual;
• Provides public education relating to the agency's complaint process;
• Requires appropriate corrective action to be taken against a peace officer employed by the SCSO, who, after an investigation, is shown to have engaged in racial profiling in violation of the SCSO's policy;
• Require collection of information relating to motor vehicle stops in which a citation is issued and to arrests made as a result of those stops, including information relating to:
A. The race or ethnicity of the individual detained;
B. Whether a search was conducted and, if so, whether the individual detained consented to the search;
C. Whether the peace officer knew the race or ethnicity of the individual detained before detaining that individual; and
• Require the Chief Administrator of the agency, regardless of whether the administrator is elected, employed or appointed to submit an annual report of the information collected to:
A. The Commission on Law Enforcement;
B. The governing body of each county or municipality served by the agency, if the agency is an agency of a county, municipality or other political subdivision of the state.
During the racial profiling period, the SCSO conducted 69 total vehicle stops.
Of the 69 people, 55 were Caucasian, 13 Hispanic and one was African-American.
Prior to the stops, 51 of the subject's ethnicity was not known while 18 were.
Searches were not conducted in 50 of the subject's cases while 19 searches were conducted.
Of the stops, 61 were issued citations, five were arrests only and three were cited and arrested.
In other business, Commissioners:
• Accepted and filed official bond for Ronnie Pendleton, Stephens County Constable;
• Approved an agreement between Stephens County and Possum Kingdom Westlake Volunteer EMS to provide services;
• Approved a mutual aid agreement between Stephens County and cities within the county that provide volunteer fire departments or any public safety services.