It's possible the decline stems from more people exercising their right to refuse searches when confronted with a written document. It may also be that officers are less likely to request unnecessary searches when documentation will be kept. Either way, since officers don't find contraband in 88% of searches, the new policy frees up a lot of officer hours for more productive crimefighting pursuits.See the form APD uses for permission to search, obtained last year by the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition under a public information act request. If could add one thing, I wish there was a line for the officer to explain the reason a search was requested.
Friday, July 07, 2006
Austin PD written consent form
When Austin PD implemented a requirement that police officers obtain written consent before searching vehicles at traffic stops, so-called "consent searches" declined 63% in the first year. As I wrote on ACLU of Texas' Liberty Blog: