Record the driver's race...
The article in the latest issue of APB magazine, titled "Record the driver's race but do not ask what it is", is right on and highlights some of the issues with Wisconsin's ridiculous requirement to complete a race information form for every traffic stop and related contact. The issues go deeper then may be stated.
The Democratic Legislature and former Democratic Governor passed the law, requiring data collection either by digital means of a pre-designed software which is already installed, or a hand-completed copy. Supposedly, the reason for the law was the potential for discrimination in use of the mandatory seatbelt law, passed a year earlier by the same Legislature. I am not sure how much actual thinking, research or common sense was used... but it seems the answer is all too abvious. The simple fact of the job is, if you're a busy metro municipality - most of your stops will probably be minorities, but you are also likely to avoid traffic enforcement, to a degree that the backed-up and stancked "hot" calls allow you. If you're a suburb, smaller city, or a rural area - you are still stopping the majority of your own population. So the majority in a city - is a minority, a majority outside, is probably white, or the many variations thereof as the form notes (Hispanic, Middle Eastern, Pacific Islander...) The only differentiating fact is African American. Clear as mud.
Not only is the law inherently and almost purposefully preventative to measure any true misuse of the law or bias in it's enforcement, the law itsef is very much biased and racially discriminatory. What picture exactly is it showing, to whom, and for what reason? The only clear part is the answer - none. No clear or usefull data, and none open to any practical or functional interpretation. This is probably why some of the larger agencies said from the very start, that the useless and wasteful law can be shoved where the sun rays are scarce, and flat out refused to enforce it. Furthermore, the bulk of the data is not focused on the driver, but the passenger(s).
Speaking of wasted resources... The fastest this form can be completed is somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 minutes per form. Let's take a medium size agency of 100. With 1 stop per shift, and 3 shifts, 900 minutes are wasted. Wasted completely with no purpose or refund, requiring cops to focus primarily on the screen, and do nothing but data entry. How much money is down the drain over the course of a month? Or with an active department, or one focused on more highways? Maybe the number crunchers who passed the law should do the math, but they were too busy avoiding their jobs and running from real issues presented by the new Governor. Nor do they care still, as the priorities are clearly and appropriately elsewhere. While rumors of the repeal are circulating, no action has been seen to date.