LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Little Rock Police Department (LRPD) is one of 129 law enforcement agencies across the United States to join the Police Data Initiative, which seeks to build relationships between citizens and police at the local level through the use of data.
The White House initiative, which came out of recommendations from the Task Force on 21st Century Policing, supports local law enforcement agency efforts to leverage data to increase transparency and accountability and build trust with their communities. Law enforcement agencies participating in the initiative commit to releasing at least three policing datasets to the public.
The LRPD, in coordination with the City’s Information Technology Department, has made seven public safety datasets available in the city’s open data portal with 15 types of visualizations such as graphs and maps.
Those datasets include the 2015 COMPSTAT data, year-to-date 2016 COMPSTAT data, traffic violations for the years 2015 and 2016, and Patrol Districts, among others.
The COMPSTAT, or Comparative Statistics, datasets are the most viewed of the City’s several datasets. They contain information about violent crime and property crime that is reported to the FBI. The map view of the COMPSTAT information is broken down by patrol districts, which allows residents to drill down to a specific geographic area to see incidents in their neighborhood.
In late 2015, Little Rock was chosen to participate in What Works Cities, a $42 million initiative by Bloomberg Philanthropies to support municipalities as they work to enhance their use of data to engage citizens, improve services, and incorporate performance metrics into departments. Just 100 cities will be admitted into the program through 2017.
As part of the initiative, Little Rock has benefitted from the expertise provided by Results for America, the Center for Government Excellence at Johns Hopkins University, the Government Performance Lab at the Harvard Kennedy School, and The Sunlight Foundation. Working with those experts, City employees are taking inventory of data and determining what new datasets can be published.