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Seattle Police Department Scores Highest on Police Data Transparency

The Seattle Police Department (SPD) has achieved the highest rating on the Vera Institutes Police Data Transparency Index (PDTI). Of the 96 agencies assessed, Seattle scored the most points, with 76 of the possible 100 available. Just 23 US agencies scored higher than 50. We are honored to lead the profession and will continue to improve our public data resources.

To learn more about Vera’s findings and why SPD was rated number one in the nation follow this link: Police Data Transparency Index

SPD takes seriously the City’s Open by Preference policy on data. Since before the consent decree, SPD has made it a priority to proactively publish as much data about police service as possible, without risking privacy. As part of President Obamas Open Government Initiative (see Project Open Data), the SPD further expanded our public data offerings to include much of the data used to establish and monitor compliance with the Consent Decree.

To learn more about SPD’s Open by Preference Policy follow this link:  Open by Preference

The SPD is accelerating toward more transparent and accessible open data. In October, the SPD was granted technical assistance from the National Training and Technical Assistance Center (NTTAC) to update and modernize our public data offerings. In the coming months, we will be standardizing the look and feel of dashboards, as well as enhancing these resources with advanced functionality. These updates will increase accessibility, allow our community to ask better questions of the data and build a stronger shared understanding of the problem—whatever that may be.

To obtain more information about NTTAC follow the link: National Training and Technical Assistance Center (NTTAC)

Over the last 12 years, SPD has additionally made a point to reach people wherever they are in their experience with data and analytics. Whenever possible, the department publishes major reports, supported by dashboards and raw data that allow members of the community to replicate much of the reporting.

Those resources are updated daily and can be found on the Information & Data page.

At SPD, we believe trust, accountability, customer satisfaction and perceptions of police legitimacy are as important as any measure of police performance. The act of being transparent and accessible, to all levels of expertise, is central to that ethos. For that reason, we have also released short infographic videos explaining how those data are generated, used, and protected.

Videos explaining what happens when you call 911, and when you need to file a police report are available embedded in the metadata pages of the City’s Open Data Portal, and on the departments YouTube page. In the coming months, the SPD will continue to grow these resources and improve our data for all users.