Applicants Sought for Traffic Stop Data Task Force
Mayor Laurel Prussing is seeking applicants to serve on the newly created Traffic Stop Data Task Force.
The 11-member task force was authorized when the City Council approved a resolution on Jan. 21. Applications will be accepted by the Mayor's office through the month of February.
The task force is charged with identifying and studying any racial disparities that may exist in local traffic stop data supplied annually to the city by the Illinois Department of Transportation, and to attempt to find the source and cause of the disparity.
The task force is directed to examine multiple aspects of the traffic stop data, including race, driver age, residence, stop time, stop location, the reason for the stop, vehicle age and any other information the task force finds to be useful.
The task force also will look beyond traffic stop data to consider census and unemployment data, high school graduation rates and incarceration statistics from the September 2013 study of the Champaign County justice system.
The 11-member task force will include one City Council representative, one representative from or representing the Urbana Police Department and at least two members with education or expertise in statistics. Applicants are not required to live in the city of Urbana, but should be representative of the ethnic mix of Urbana.
Appointments to the task force and selection of the chair will be made by the Mayor with the approval of the City Council. Prussing said she wants applicants to have "a demonstrated ability to be objective and respectful in dealing with people from other backgrounds, cultures and opinions."
The task force will meet monthly, with public meetings that are video recorded and posted on the city's web site. City staff from the Urbana Human Relations Commission and the Civilian Police Review Board will assist the task force, which will be expected to provide bimonthly progress reports to the City Council. The task force is expected to provide preliminary findings, including any policy recommendations, on or before April 30, 2015.
A copy of the City Council resolution creating the task force, and an application form to apply to serve on the task force are included below.