Jesse Kalinowski, Matthew Ross, Stephen L. Ross

This paper uses state police stop data in Texas to assess patrol activity. We find that both the types of stops and the allocation of resources over space change in darkness relative to daylight, and that the changes in stop type and manpower allocation are correlated within police officers. We also find that the counties receiving more police resources in darkness have a higher share of minority residents. Veil of Darkness (VOD) tests of racial discrimination in traffic stops require that the distribution of motorists be independent of darkness, which is unlikely to be the case without detailed geographic controls.

JEL Codes
K14: Criminal Law
K42: Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
J15: Economics of Minorities, Races, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
H11: Structure, Scope, and Performance of Government
traffic stops
patrol locations
veil of darkness
racial profiling
racial discrimination