OPD First Florida Agency in White House Police Data Initiative
The Orlando Police Department is the first law enforcement agency in Florida to join the Police Data Initiative, a White House program aimed at making more data about police activity available to the public.
The Initiative stems from the Task Force on 21st Century Policing, created by President Obama late last year to better understand specific policing challenges and help identify actions to improve law enforcement and enhance community engagement. Many of the Task Force’s recommendations emphasize the opportunity for departments to better use data and technology to build community trust and increase internal accountability.
“The Police Data Initiative is another way that the Orlando Police Department can maintain a culture of transparency and accountability with the community,” said Chief John Mina. “This type of transparency and openness will enhance public trust.”
In his 2015 State of the City address, Mayor Buddy Dyer announced combined OPD and community efforts to proactively ensure stronger ties between police and residents.
Some of Orlando Police Department’s most important goals – increasing transparency and reducing incidents in which the use of force is inappropriately applied – align closely with those the Task Force identified. Chief Mina and Mayor Dyer embraced the opportunity to participate in the Initiative. There are now 24 law enforcement agencies participating in the Police Data Initiative.
“There are more than 18,000 law enforcement agencies in the nation and we are one of fewer than 30 participating in this data sharing initiative,” said Deputy Chief for Administrative Services Orlando Rolon, OPD’s point person on the Initiative. “Our goal is to be as transparent as we possibly can. This will aid us in that.”
OPD is in the early stages of involvement in the program. Working closely with City of Orlando Chief Information Officer Rosa Akhtarkhavari, the department is currently evaluating which data sets to release and engaging a technology vendor to facilitate the compilation and release of data, which could include not only OPD data, but data from other departments in the City.
Some of the types of OPD data citizens may be able to access when the program is up and running are: Vehicle and pedestrian stops, use of force information, and aggregate data used to compile presentations such as the End of Year Review report.
New Orleans Police Department, one of the PDI’s participating agencies, has already begun posting data. You can see a sample of its data here: https://data.nola.gov/