In response to some community concerns of racial profiling, the Iowa City Police Department (ICPD) started to collect demographic data on traffic stops in July 1999. The results of the traffic stop data collection were analyzed in a January 2004 report titled “Traffic Stop Practices of the Iowa City Police Department: January 1 – December 31, 2002.” The research team was from the University of Louisville and this report was frequently referred to as the Louisville study.

On or about 2006, the Command Staff was approached by Dr. Christopher Barnum, Associate Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice and Director of Graduate Studies Masters in Criminal Justice at St. Ambrose University. Dr. Barnum was familiar with the Louisville study and became interested in analyzing ICPD traffic stop data utilizing a differing approach.

Barnum's study of ICPD traffic stop data is from the years 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011 and 2012. He was assisted by graduate students Robert Perfetti and Matt Lint. The ICPD will continue to work with Dr. Barnum to analyze and track this information in future years.

Questions regarding the report can be directed to the Police Department by calling 319-356-5272 or email at

Dr. Barnum's presentation to City Council April 19, 2016

2016/2017 Traffic Study update

2018 Traffic Study update

Watch the video below for a behind-the-scenes look at how the data is collected.

City Government