Curmudgeon's Corner

cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner

State-Mandated Traffic Stop Database

Germantown, Police, Political, Quality of Life, Taxes, Wisconsin

Part of the budget bill is a requirement that police departments maintain a database of information concerning the race of drivers who are stopped for violations.  That information would apparently be maintained at the state level. It is obvious that this is aimed at the issue of "racial profiling" by law enforcement agencies.

Whether or not there is racial profiling by police departments has been an "on again - off again" topic for debate over quite a few years.  I asked Police Chief Pete Hoell of the Germantown Police Department what his thoughts were on this issue.  Among other things, he said that there is already a Policy and Procedure document within the GPD that monitors the racial issue for traffic stops and that the Command Staff is tasked with assuring that the road officers are following the rules laid down to assure that the policies are followed.

As is also obvious, the Chief mentioned that the racial make-up of a community is going to determine the racial percentage of the people stopped.  The vast majority of stops in Germantown are of whites and that portrays the make-up of the community.  Stops in various areas of Milwaukee would reflect the racial make-up of those areas.

He was also concerned with where the funding for this new requirement would be found.  He also said that there is nothing to hide from the perspective of his department.  I don't recall ever hearing anything that would suggest there was any such issue in our community.

It seems, from my perspective, that this measure is in the budget so that it gets passed without the public policy debate that ought to be occurring.  It also seems to me that this is an effort to get at the data more easily, since it'll be housed somewhere at the state level, so that those members of the legislature who thrive on creating local brouhahas will be able to create "timely" such apparent issues for consumption by the voters in their districts.

This is another example of non-fiscal agenda items being hidden from view/debate by being buried in the budget bill.  These political sops by the governor are well out of hand, and the people of this state ought be telling him that very clearly if he decides to run for a third term.  He has done sufficient damage in two terms.

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The Curmudgeon Blog today is titled "Is Justice Really Blind?"

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