Researchers will present findings from their examination of pedestrian and traffic stop data during a community meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 10, in the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vermont St. The data has been collected in conjunction with the Douglas County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC) and with Douglas County law enforcement agencies. There will be a panel discussion with leaders from local law enforcement agencies after the presentation. The moderator will be Douglas County Criminal Justice Coordinator Katy Fitzgerald.
The CJCC and other stakeholders hired Northeastern University in 2019 to provide criminal justice research services through a $175,000 contract. Researchers Jack McDevitt, of Northeastern University, and Janice Iwama, of American University, helped develop and implement a program for documenting traffic and pedestrian stops in Douglas County. The process involved developing a leadership team, identifying existing data collection possibilities, developing training for law enforcement officers, establishing an audit process and analyzing data from more than 20,000 traffic and pedestrian stops.
They began collecting data Jan. 1, 2020, from the KU Police Department, Lawrence Police Department, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Baldwin City Police Department and Eudora Police Department. McDevitt and Iwama have been analyzing data to determine if any racial and ethnic disparities exist, and they will be providing related recommendations. They will be meeting with all of the participating law enforcement agencies while they are in Douglas County next week.
The Aug. 10 meeting will provide community members with an opportunity to hear about the study, hear from law enforcement leaders in Douglas County and ask questions.
Additionally, McDevitt and Iwama will provide information about the study during the monthly CJCC meeting, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 9, by Zoom. CJCC meetings are open to the public. The Zoom link can be found on the CJCC website: http://douglascountyks.org/cjcchub.