Police Data Initiative by White House to reform the country’s police departments

The federal government, concerned citizens and multiple media organizations are working to bring transparency to this issue. In some cases, they’re even working together. Acording to a report extract from Huffington Post

In addition to databases at DeadspinGun Violence Archive and FatalEncounters.org, The Washington Post is compiling a list of every fatal shooting by a police officer in the line of duty. A list like that, however, would not include Eric Garner and Freddie Gray, both of whom died during their interactions with police without a single shot being fired. The Guardian has gone one step further than the Post, tracking all people killed by police in the United States by any means, as has the Killed by Police Facebook page. These efforts, as you might expect, are registering a much higher count of police killings than the ones that focus only on shooting deaths. Critics argue, however, that by including traffic incidents and similar accidents in the overall tally, it misleads the public and robs the data of context.

Then the initiative launched in May, 21 departments across the United States were involved. They’ve each committed to releasing at least three data sets on police-citizen interaction — although there’s no timeline for when those releases are supposed to happen.

According to a White House spokesperson, 17 data sets have been released to date at the Police Foundation’s Public Safety Open Data Portal. They include data on officer-involved shootings, calls for service, vehicle citations, assaults on officers and citizen complaints. So far, the Dallas Police Department is the only one in the country that’s posted its data on officer-involved shootings at this portal.

The White House says 13 police departments are currently working toward releasing use-of-force data sets. These data sets will be released at the local level, however — primarily through city open data portals. For instance, the Philadelphia Police Department is sharing crime data and statistics on its own site.

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