The Missouri Attorney General's Office today released the annual vehicle stops report, an aggregation of data covering all vehicle stops in the state of Missouri in 2019. The Missouri Attorney General's Office is statutorily required to produce a report on the state's vehicle stops per SB 1053, enacted in 2000.
The report can be found here: https://ago.mo.gov/docs/default-source/public-safety/2019executivesummary.pdf?sfvrsn=ec6219f9_4, and the rundown of changes coming to the report can be found here: https://ago.mo.gov/docs/default-source/press-releases/2019/2020-vsr-changes-summary-packet.pdf?sfvrsn=406cfd0f_2.
The vehicle stops report aggregates 2019 stops data from 571 law enforcement agencies across the state, and breaks down the data as it relates to race, number of stops, search rate, contraband hit rate, arrest rate, and more.
“Aggregating and producing the annual vehicle stops report is an incredibly important duty of the Attorney General's Office, and a duty that I take seriously. This report helps law enforcement agencies and others identify potential disparities and areas for improvement,” said Attorney General Schmitt. “It's my hope that this report will ensure that moving forward, Missourians are receiving the best possible protection from our state's law enforcement.”
Additionally, improvements relating to collection of data were made effective in January of 2020 and will begin to be reflected in next year’s report, with full realization of impact in 2021. Those changes are designed to improve the quality of the data and include:
- Three new questions were added, relating to the officer's assignment, the residential zip code of the driver stopped, and the reason for issuing a citation or warning.
- Expanded response options allowing for more context on certain questions, including subcategories to the investigative stop question, expanded age range, and separation of alcohol and drug contraband hit section.
The full rundown of changes, including example stop sheets for comparison, can be found here: https://ago.mo.gov/docs/default-source/press-releases/2019/2020-vsr-changes-summary-packet.pdf?sfvrsn=406cfd0f_2.