Howard County Law Enforcement Agency Data Analysis

Howard County Police Department - Racial Disparity Data Very Concerning!


Continuing our advocacy to improve police accountability in Howard County, PATF-HoCo reviewed data concerning Howard County Police Department (HCPD) and Howard County Sheriff's Department (HCSD) interactions with Black/African American people across several categories of community engagement, including Traffic Stops, Use of Force, Arrests, Pointing a Weapon (Gun or Taser), and Adult/Juvenile citations. Although we are not able to determine the reasons WHY, the data reflect significant racial disparities across all these categories of Law Enforcement Agency (LEA) interactions with Black/African American people. For example, while Blacks/African Americans made up 21% of the HoCo population in 2022, they constituted 58% of all arrests and 59% of all use-of-force incidents. See the summary charts below.   

We obtained the information for the first chart from the HCPD and HCSD data reviewed by the Police Accountability Board (PAB) in its June 20, 2023 meeting. At the same PAB meeting it was reported that the PAB had received LEA data showing similar racial disparities for Hispanic persons across several policing categories.

The data for the second chart comes from the Maryland Race-Based Traffic Stop Data Dashboard, which provides annual traffic stop demographic data for all Maryland police departments.

See the presentation below for details.

HoCo LEA Racial Disparity Deck V4_Website 11-30-23.pdf

These data are very troubling.  As a matter of public safety, it is important for the community to be aware of the racial disparities indicated in the data.  In addition, the community needs to know what HoCo leadership plans to do to reduce these racial disparities.


We have been in discussion with Police Chief Der, the County Executive’s Office and the Howard County Police Accountability Board, and we have strongly recommended the following three (3) actions be taken immediately:


We are committed to sharing this information with Howard County residents - see our Press Release!


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