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MSP offers new transparency website, creates council

LANSING — Michigan State Police Director Col. Joe Gasper announced the creation of www.michigan.gov/MSPtransparency, a new Transparency and Accountability webpage that provides the public with easy access to information about the administration and operation of the MSP.

Information includes department policies, strategic plan, training requirements, recruiting and staffing numbers and use of force and traffic stop data, among other topics.

Gasper also announced the creation of a citizen advisory council that will assist department leadership by providing outside insight into MSP practices affecting the public. The Bridges to BLUE (Build.Listen.Unite.Engage) Citizen Advisory Council includes 10 citizen volunteers, representing various community stakeholders. They will be used for conducting research into best practices and for help in generating new ideas and solutions for improved community engagement.

Gasper noted that while he believes that MSP members perform their jobs without regard for race, a continuing increase in the percentage of traffic stops involving African American drivers since 2017 merits further review to ensure that department policies and practices are not resulting in the disparate treatment of some motorists.

Research in other states has shown there are important factors that must be considered when analyzing traffic stop data, including the setting of an accurate baseline for comparison and information on the location of the stop, reason for the stop, whether a search was conducted and the outcome of the stop. To accomplish this advanced analysis, the MSP will employ the expertise of an independent third-party research institution to perform a comprehensive and in-depth review of its traffic stop data, taking into account all of the associated datasets. Once this advanced research and analysis is completed, the results will be shared publicly.

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