City Beat – Top cop responds to concerns about ticket wording
Wording on traffic citations is taken from state law.
As a follow-up to a recent letter in the Lockhart Post-Register, I will attempt to address Mr. Jackson’s concerns about the wording on Lockhart Police Department traffic tickets.
The term Mr. Jackson questioned is taken word for word directly from the State Law that governs racial profiling. The Rac
ial Profiling statute is found in the Code of Criminal Procedure of Texas. The statute is contained specifically in Article 2.131 and Article 2.132.
Mr. Jackson was specifically concerned with the wording on our citations that described the ethnicity of the motorist. Our citations list Caucasian, Hispanic, African, Asian and Native American.
These descriptive categories were taken directly from the wording in the above State Law. These categories are listed in 2.132 section (a) sub-section 2; it reads race or ethnicity means of a particular descent, including Caucasian, African, Hispanic, Asian or Native American. These categories were basically transcribed from the statute to our citations.
Our only motive in this is to have citations that are uniformly compliant with the state statute in wording. We as a police department have a genuine concern for the feelings of the members of the community that we serve.
We have researched at least three communities surrounding us and found that their citations have a blank for the officer to fill in the race/ethnicity of the motorist. We felt like our citations would be more uniform and compliant if we used the exact wording from the state statute.
In closing, the Lockhart Police Department is committed to being sensitive to the community as a whole.
In a good-will effort to be responsive, we will research the possibilities of rewording our citations as long as that rewording does not cause us to be out of compliance with the Racial Profiling statute.
Michael S. Lummus
Chief of Police
Lockhart Police Department