The portal currently contains select datasets from agencies participating in the White House’s Police Data Initiative (PDI) as well as national data to provide context for the local data.
The law enforcement agencies in these communities have made or indicated support for making data open and available to the public, demonstrating a commitment to transparency and accountability. The Portal will also include data from some of the Police Foundation’s most important initiatives developed during our 45-year history of improving policing through science and innovation.
The participating agencies can be found here.
The data made available through the Public Safety Open Data Portal and their local and national origination points can be used to inform what we know and don’t know about public safety and often provides important context for what we hear in the media and community. We identify several examples here to demonstrate the potential use cases and value of the local and national data available through this site, now and in the future. Read More >>
The Police Foundation’s mission is to improve policing through science and innovation. Open data improves transparency, accountability, and legitimacy, enhancing the relationship between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve and protect, while encouraging innovation and supporting science. As described in the Police Foundation’s publication 5 Things You Need to Know About Open Data in Policing, open data can also be useful in creating improved understanding of public safety and in facilitating community engagement regarding public safety issues and decisions.
Code for America defines open data as “data (such as documents, databases, records, or transcripts, including those managed by outside vendors) released by a government or organization that is:
Freely available to be used, shared, and reused by anyone for any purpose, commercial or otherwise.
Available in digital, machine-readable formats (such as .csv) so that it can be used in combination with other data and applications.
Available in its entirety — and able to be downloaded “in bulk” and not just manually retrieved record-by-record.”
Open data is transformative and we know that users will find even better ways to use, analyze, and remix the data than we have described here.
Open data improves transparency, accountability, and legitimacy, enhancing the relationship between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve and protect. The portal provides a view of agencies and facilitates community engagement regarding public safety issues and decisions.
Agencies moving towards open data will find what other agencies are doing, tips, and best practices as well. As new and additional datasets are added from other places, users will have the opportunity to explore new insights and become engaged in assisting public safety officials by pointing out issues and trends that may not have been previously identified.
As a central clearinghouse, the Public Safety Data Portal serves as a location to collect data from each participating agency and compare and contrast available datasets. Additionally, comparison between the available data sets can serve as a foundation for common data elements making code reusable in different communities.
The content, data, and related materials on the site are subject to the Terms and Conditions noted in the dataset properties and associated files and metadata. The Police Foundation does not verify or provide assurances regarding the content or accuracy of the open data files available.
The Public Safety Open Data Portal was made possible through the support of these partners and the ever growing number of Law Enforcement Agencies across the country promoting accountability and transparency through opening data: