Police Chief discusses traffic stop data and needed communication upgrades

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Manvel Police Chief Keith Traylor delivered to City Council an annual report on racial profiling that is mandated by state law. At the end of every year the data must be compiled and reported to the state agency that governs police agencies. The department is considered a Tier Two category which partially exempts it from some reporting details due to its vehicles being equipped with audio/visual equipment and that maintains those recordings for at least ninety days. The report is comprised from data that is compiled from traffic stops where citations were issued or when persons have been arrested and subsequent charges have been filed.

Manvel data is presented for 2014 with 2013 data shown immediately following in parentheses. The data show a total of 1,436 citations and arrests resulting from traffic stops in 2014. The officer was unaware of the races or ethnicities prior to the stop in 1,088 (1,253) of those. The breakdown of the race/ethnicity follow: 39.27% or 564 (546) Caucasian, 35.02% or 503 (373) Hispanic, 20.05% or 288 (274) African-American, and 81 (60) of other race or ethnicity. A total of 28 (153) searches were conducted during the stops with 10 (113) of those consented to and 18 (38) not consented to.

Some 40,000 vehicles travel through Manvel every day along Hwy 6. Other area of the city are patrolled as well. The statistics indicate the department is operating within acceptable numbers and indicate no bias toward racial profiling.

In other police related news, Chief Traylor informed council of a submission of a grant application for a communication and radio equipment upgrade for the department. According to Traylor the department’s communications equipment is past due for a modernization as the current equipment is more than ten years old and during those years little to no updates or on-going maintenance has been performed. By December 2016 all police agencies are mandated to convert to a new digital communication system. The new vehicles the department has acquired in recent years are equipped with the new radios but additional personal radios are required and the biggest expense will be the main communication console and computers at the department.

In addition to the equipment upgrade the Chief explained a secondary dispatch position will be added. He said a redundant backup position is needed in case of a natural disaster or emergency to help handle the increased communication needs not only for the Manvel police but also for the fire department, Iowa Colony police, and AISD police. Manvel dispatch also handles those other department’s communications.

Currently the city’s communications infrastructure is unable to communicate with either Pearland or Alvin as they already have realized the digital upgrade. The ability to communicate inter-departmentally is important in cases of multi-jurisdictional issues such as traffic chases and outlying neighborhood patrols.

The chief told council the grant application is considered a high-priority with the Houston Galveston Area Council (HGAC), which is handling the application process, and that the final submission should be delivered within a couple of weeks.

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