That was the main finding in the 2011 racial profile report delivered to the City Council by Assistant Police Chief Kenneth Jefferson on Jan. 24.
The chief told council members that of the 1,565 traffic stops made by city patrolmen last year, 1,223 of those stops resulted in the driver receiving a traffic citation.
Not one of the incidents ended in an arrest only but 342 of those incidents, did result in officers making both an arrest and issuing a citation.
Most of those involved in routine stops, 937, were Hispanic, according to Jefferson’s report. Caucasians made up the next largest number of those stopped for traffic reasons. The report showed that 447 Caucasians were involved in stops.
Asians made up the next largest group, 86, to be involved in stops, and 62 of the drivers were identified as African.
Jefferson said that officers were aware of the race or ethnicity of the drivers in only 50 of the stops.
“Most of the time, they (the officers) have no idea what the race of the person being stopped is until they make the stop,” Jefferson told council members.
Officers also searched the vehicles in only 22 of the stops, and 17 of those were made with the consent of the driver.
Jefferson credited the council with making the job of preparing his annual report easier.
He said the council’s decision to purchase electronic ticket writers meant that, this year, he did not have to go through the records of stops and citations and compile the results by hand.
In other business during the meeting, the council voted to:
— Reject bids received on work to be done on a retired living center on the north end of the city on the U.S. Highway 181 Business Route.
City Manager Tom Ginter reported that the original bids for work to be done came in at more than the amount budgeted for the project.
Ginter said engineers redesigned the project to reduce the scope of work, and the council approved a request to seek new bids for the job.
— Approve the municipal court’s participation in the state’s Scofflaw Law, allowing the court to have the county and state reject attempts to renew vehicle registrations and driver’s license renewals for individuals who owe unpaid court fines.
— Authorize the city staff to pay Amstar, Inc. General Contractors of San Antonio $10,800 for pre-construction work done for improvements at Veterans Memorial Park.
— Accept a report from Urban Engineering informing the city that three of its five groundwater wells are usable and could possibly be used to blend with surface water from Lake Corpus Christi to supplement water supplies in the event of a serious shortage.
Ginter told the council that another company conducting water alternatives for the city, HDR Inc., would be inspecting the facilities at the George P. Morrill Water Treatment Plant at Swinney Switch before making recommendations on how to improve that facility.