Last spring, the White House announced the Police Data Initiative (PDI). When we saw the announcement, it immediately piqued our interest. Big Mountain Data’s mission is predicated on openness and transparency with regard to the data that can be collected, analyzed, and reported on intimate partner violence. Via our partner Socrata and our contacts at the Sunlight Foundation, we reached out to see if we could begin to form a community of interest for knowledge-sharing and best practices specific to intimate partner violence data within the PDI.
We were thrilled to hear last summer that Orlando joined as the first city in the state of Florida to join the PDI. Orlando has an excellent reputation for community engagement, a strong technology base, and a progressive law enforcement agency keen on innovation. Orlando Police Chief John Mina even attended a forum with President Obama in October to discuss criminal justice reform and specific ways data can be made available to the public.
As the Orlando Police Department (OPD) prepares to release data on the open portal, the agency has been exploring how featured areas of interest can be examined in a “data dive” forum that will bring together subject matter experts in the community, law enforcement, and city government. Lucky for us, the first data dive effort to explore this new form of collaboration will be focused on domestic violence and sexual assault data. The event is invitation-only, and we are pleased to be taking part in this exciting inaugural event. Representatives from the state involved in advocacy work, as well as local advocates and data experts will be sharing their expertise along with local government officials and law enforcement. The goal of this session is to bring people together to preview the datasets, provide feedback before final public release, and generally kickstart conversations on how increased transparency can help inform programs and introduce new approaches in the spirit of better protecting and serving the community.
The Director of Innovation for the City of Orlando, Matt Broffman is leading this effort on behalf of the city. He’s done a terrific job of coordinating the stakeholders involved in the event, as well as setting expectations. The event will take place on January 27th in the afternoon. Big Mountain Data has provided input for suggested themes worthy of exploration by the participating teams and will be contributing the talents of Stacy Sechrist and John Weil from University of North Carolina – Greensboro who have worked together over three years analyzing a decade’s worth of domestic violence crime data. We are very optimistic that this workshop will be an excellent catalyst to launch many conversations on the strategic use of police data to thwart violence against women in central Florida. We are thrilled to be a part of this historic event. If the workshop yields good results, this model could be replicated to other PDI sites.