Stops, Citations, and Arrests

Making proactive and reactive stops of pedestrians and motor vehicles are functions of policing. Often these stops involve a preceding event such as a traffic violation. In other instances, stops can be more proactive. In some cases, the matter is resolved through communication (e.g., warning), in other cases a citation may be issued, and in other cases, an arrest may be made.

Agencies releasing stops, citations and arrest data may be releasing data on all of these circumstances or only some, such as traffic stops or arrests. It is also important to note that some data sets may overlap in certain cases, such as an incident that results in a stop, followed by an arrest.

The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) recently released a report on law enforcement’s use of citations in lieu of arrests. The report found that “citation in lieu of arrest potentially offers numerous benefits for law enforcement, the criminal justice system, and those cited. Yet the impact of the practice has not been significantly studied. The IACP’s three-pronged assessment of citation in lieu of arrest—has provided a baseline of information and generated numerous questions that provide a path forward for researchers, illuminating the need for more evidence gathering to support effective policies for the criminal justice system, officers, and citizens.” More information can be found by Clicking Here

Available Datasets


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