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Law Enforcement

Topic Score: 18.3

The Law Enforcement Topic includes three Indicators that measure disparities in police response times, stops, and use of force. The first Indicator measures disparities in police response times between Area 5 and Areas 1/3. This is a placeholder for this year that we plan to replace with an analysis of response times by police beat which can be more closely related to the racial and ethnic demographics of each beat. The second Indicator measures disparities in discretionary stops between African Americans and Asians. The third Indicator measures disparities in use of force between African Americans and Whites.
Photo of officers standing in a row.
Law Enforcement is the second highest scoring Topic in the Public Safety Theme with a Topic score of 18.3. The Indicator scores were highly variable with police response times scoring highest at 48, followed by discretionary stops at 6, and use of force getting the lowest score of 1. Though police response times bring up the average, this is still a Topic of stark disparities that warrant further investigation into root causes and solutions.

Law Enforcement - Police Response Times

Score: 48
Ratio: 1.82
Priority 2 calls made up the majority of calls for service citywide (and within every area) and therefore affected a greater number of citizens than Priority 1 calls, so we focused our analysis there. The areas with the fastest median response times were Areas 1 and 3 at just about 50 minutes each. The slowest was Area 5 at 1 hour and 31 minutes. If you called for service in Area 5 (and it is a Priority 2 call), you waited 1.82 times longer than if you were calling from Area 1 or 3.
However, it is important to note that Area 5 had the fastest response time for Priority 1 calls, so the disparity goes in a different direction for the two different types of calls. When we replace this with data by beat next year, we may or may not find more consistent patterns across beats and racial/ethnic groups.For more information and maps of areas, click here.

Law Enforcement - Stops

Score: 6
Ratio: 8.60
We found that African Americans were by far the most likely to experience a discretionary stop with 197.8 out of every 1,000-people stopped in 2017 alone. Latinos were next most likely with a rate of 62.5 out of every 1,000. Whites and Asians were the least likely at rates of 24.1 and 23.0 respectively. African Americans were 8.60 times and Latinos 2.72 times more likely to be stopped than Asians.
OPD has been collecting data that can help investigate this disparity. The “2016-2017 Stop Data Report” includes data by race/ethnicity on reasons for stops, whether a search was conducted, and whether anything was recovered. One relevant finding is that probation and parole searches make up a disparately large proportion of searches of African Americans in comparison to other groups (37% as opposed to 23% for Whites, Table 7a-Search Types). This result demonstrates how this Indicator interacts with others (such as jail and prison incarceration) in distinct ways for African Americans.

Law Enforcement - Use of Force

Score: 1
Ratio: 23.68
African Americans were by far the most likely to experience use of force with a rate of 244.4 people per 100,000 in 2017. Latinos were a distant second at a rate of 70.2. Asians and Whites were the least likely to experience use of force at rates of 14.8 and 10.3 respectively. An African American person in Oakland was 23.68 times more likely than a White person to experience use of force in 2017. For more information on how OPD defines Use of Force and strategies employed to reduce incidents, click here.

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