The importance of being informed

The Police Data Accessibility Project aggregates and consolidates open source law enforcement activity data to provide the public and policymakers with digestible records.

The problem

Law enforcement data, especially at the local level, is hidden in the corners of the internet, obfuscated by bureaucracy, and served up via low quality user experiences. All this makes it difficult for citizens to access, consolidate, and make use of the data for accurate and factual inferences. Our approach empowers volunteer hunter-gatherers to contribute to a platform empowering the citizenry with oversight capability.

Our platform is a consolidated, publicly available library of law enforcement related records. Our goal is to ease data consumption, facilitate open source software analytics, and provide an interface for reporting and analysis of law enforcement activity. Our platform will be made publicly available, free of charge.

Our target user demographic is the data analytics and justice sector so they may examine law enforcement trends. The platform will also benefit broader swathes of the population, such as academics studies, press coverage, government oversight, elected officials, and the law enforcement agencies themselves.

Project goals

1.
Become THE source for police data — be the most complete source of law enforcement data
A.
More than 15% of 17,985 U.S. police agencies represented in the data (focused on population centers)
B.
Expand distribution methods in response to community feedback
2.
Routinize scraping and FOIA activities — know what and when data is made available
A.
Publish automated pipeline data (i.e. scrapes) within hours
B.
Publish manual pipeline data (i.e. FOIA and docs) in days
3.
Drive the public availability of new police data — data is being created where it wasn’t before because of the holes we identify
4.
Support the regular publication of data trends — our data is widely cited in publications