Introduction to National Data in the Public Safety Open Data Portal

Open data is a high priority within the federal government and with other national organizations. While this has been the case since President Obama entered office in 2009 and made it an Administration priority, much national data that is important for context and understanding, is not truly open. Although research and federal statistical data is widely available in a variety of formats, the number of open data sets is more limited. Data.gov, which serves as an inventory of open government datasets, is an excellent resource to learn what federal data is available in an open format.

Opening Up National Datasets

As we developed this site and considered the nature of data being opened up and released by local law enforcement agencies and cities, we realized that in order to put this data into proper context and to understand how local data is related to what occurs nationally, national data relevant to the datasets being released locally would need to be available. At this time, we have only included selected data tables from key national or federal datasets; however, should resources become available, we anticipate working more closely with federal and national organizations to open and contribute full datasets that can be visualized and analyzed to provide improved understanding of the local data.

For example, included in the Public Safety Open Data Portal are data tables from key federal publications or data collections on law enforcement operations, crime and victimization. We have included data tables related to victimization, police-citizen contacts, citizen satisfaction, and assaults on officers and officers killed in the line of duty from the following publications:


Police-Behavior-During-TrafPolice Behavior During Traffic & Street Stops, 2011
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)

 

Requests-for-Police-AssistaRequests for Police Assistance, 2011
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)

 

Household-Poverty-&-NonfataHousehold Poverty & Nonfatal Violent Victimization 2008-2012
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)

 

Law-Enforcement-Officers-KiLaw Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted (FBI)
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation