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SPD Statement Regarding Monitor’s Preliminary Draft Report on Assessment of Use of Force

The Seattle Police Department shares community concern around numbers reported in the Monitor’s preliminary draft of the Use of Force Assessment with respect to officer reporting of perceived subject race.  The fact of the matter is that force is thoroughly reviewed – and we have shown that consistently since the first assessment in 2015.  

Having now spent significant time digging into the data in order to address the issues the preliminary report calls on us to resolve, we know that the issue is not a data integrity issue or an officer reporting deficiency. It is an architecture issue that resulted from a mapping error between the source system for force reporting (IAPro) and the Data Analytics Platform, which powers our public data source, which resulted in certain subject demographic data not loading properly into DAP and thus reporting as “non specified” in the public data set.  

In other words, the source system data is accurate and complete, but the extract, transfer and load failed on this particular dimension. The department has alerted both the Monitoring Team and DOJ to this issue and has shared with the Monitor our appreciation for bringing the gap to SPD’sattention.

We will follow with a more comprehensive and technical “after action” as to how and where the error originated, but a fewpoints to note: 

• This mapping issue is being resolved. 

• We are able to provide the Monitor with direct access to the source system (IAPro) to verify the resolution.

• The inherent risk of this type of error will be virtually eliminated once we complete the integration of use of force reporting into our new records management systems (thus unifying the two systems) later this year.  

• That said, as with any technology and particularly with a system as complex as DAP, errors will occur. As we continue to improve the way we consume and process data, the potential for error is included. To address such vulnerabilities, SPD maintains a data governance process, included in which is a retrospective where lessons learned are reviewed on a regular basis to assure gaps in process are also addressed.

SPD expects that these limited data gaps raised in the preliminary assessment will be resolved before the report is finalized.