WALKER -- Sheriff Randy Fisher reported to Cass County commissioners Tuesday on jail admittance records over the last eight years.
Cass admitted 1,251 to jail in 1996. The total number could be 485 higher this year for a total of 1,736 if inmate admission levels through September continue the same through year-end.
Only in 1998 and 2000 were there slight declines from the overall annual increases in the last eight years.
The proportion of American Indians admitted to Cass County Jail also has shown a steady increase. In 1996, 52 percent of admissions were American Indian, 47 percent Caucasian and 1 percent African American.
Last year and this year, the percentages have been 59 percent American Indian, 39 percent Caucasian, 1 percent African American and 1 percent Asian.
Cass County Sheriff's Department was one of 31 city police departments, 33 county sheriff's departments and Leech Lake Reservation to participate in a survey conducted on 2002 traffic stop activities and presented to the state Legislature in September on racial profiling.
The statewide study evaluated whether each department exhibited racial disparities in making traffic stops within their jurisdiction. The focus was on officer-initiated stops, not those resulting from 911 calls.
Questions asked considered whether the officer knew the race or ethnicity of the person before he/she made a traffic stop, time of day, reason for stop, disposition of stop, actual ethnicity of driver, driver's age and gender, whether the person was searched and whether contraband was discovered.
Cass County Sheriff's Department received from the state video cameras to install in several squad cars to assist in documenting information.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.