The meeting focused on the University Police Department’s implementation reporting requirements of the Racial and Identify Profiling Act (CA Senate Bill 953 from 2015). Information was presented by Interim Chief Drake Massey and Officer Hector Gomez.

Starting January 1, 2022, University police officers must record and report information about individuals they stop for possible infractions. Much of that information is about ‘perceived’ attributes of the individuals they stop; those perceptions cannot be informed by any reference to official (e.g., government issue) identification.

Data from officers is reviewed by the duty sergeant at the end of each shift. Data that passes review is allowed to be submitted to the California Attourney General through the California Department of Justice. The University Police Department has chosen to submit its data on a monthly basis instead of the annual basis as allowed by SB 953.

Each year, a RIPA Advisory Board review data and publishes a report. The reports aggregates data to the department level, and not to the officer level. Reports are available online.

The Channel Islands University Police Department has acquired mobile data terimals for all its vehicles so that officers can collect/submit data while in the field. This reduces the amount of administrative time spent per stop. Alternatively, an officer could radio in information from the field, but the department radios are not encrypted. Unencrypted communication would expose personal information of citizens to the public. Because unencrypted communication has great public benefit, especially in times of great distress (e.g., wildfires, earthquakes), the police department opted to use the mobile data terminals which keep data private.

Members of UPAC had several concerns about RIPA and the data that officers were collecting. Many of those concerns stemmed from the categories of informaiton each office must collect and the limited reporting options available to the officers. It was also unclear what measures the officers would take to insure that their memory of their ‘perceptions’ at the start of an encounter (which must be reported) would not be contaminated by the information they get during the stop from government issued identification. Relying on a desk sergeant to know when an officer is reporting honestly or dishonestly (for whatever reason) did not reassure the committee.

RIPA data is suppoed to help the public identify law enforcement agencies that profile individuals based on race and, perhaps, gender expression or sexual orientation. The extent to which capturing an officer’s ‘perception’ of an individual at a stop is important. But how this will work in practice is not clear. The campus community should monitor this process and see how the 2022 RIPA report describes our campus police force.