Dallas Transformed by Police Data Sharing
It’s been just over a year since the White House Police Data Initiative launched. In Dallas, Texas, the results have been transformative. In 2015, Dallas drove down complaints of excessive force by 67 percent, decreased Use of Deadly Force incidents by 45 percent, and reduced crime overall. Dallas Police Chief David Brown credits this progress to increased public trust, which developed in part from increased transparency and data sharing by the Dallas Police Department. When the city shared data online, residents were able to better understand the department’s actions and hold their leaders accountable.
Brown sees law enforcement as custodians rather than owners of this police data. “It was a big step to make that our mantra, that the data was the citizens’ data, not the police’s data,” said Brown.
Instead of releasing impenetrable spreadsheets or reports, the Dallas Police Department released their data in an API-accessible, machine readable format that is easy to search, understand, and share.