National Police Data Index

National Police Data Index


Right now, policing is an article of faith. We give police power over life and death with the idea that they will make us safe. But we have no defined methods of determining how effective they are. Instead, it is a force that only grows. No matter the situation, more policing is always the answer. So how can we hold police accountable in our communities?

It starts by actually keeping records. We can’t expect the police to keep tabs on themselves… If it were that easy, we wouldn’t need them in the first place. It is the job of the community to police the police. And that’s where the National Police Data Coalition comes in.

Transparency Starts at Home


The National Police Data Coalition is creating an index of Police data in America. Arrests, data access by police, incidents of police misconduct and more are recorded by all of our members and then shared to create a common understanding of events. We do all of this in the service of a simple goal.

Transparency.

We believe that light is the best disinfectant. Our leaders have fought to protect the civil and human rights of America for years. We’ve fought in the criminal courts to protect the rights of the accused. We fought to expose information to the public that might otherwise be left hidden or obscured. And we believe that the information age brings new dangers as well as new opportunities.

Our goal is to create a public record that can be leveraged to protect the interests of the public even against those of the state. We harken back to a time when people believed it was important to challenge government… Before 9/11 and the war on terror… Before authoritarianism became so fashionable…
As our nation undergoes a historic shift from butter to guns and our spending becomes more captured by military and policing interests, we endeavor to monitor that shift on behalf of the people who must live in that world.
Searchable National Index
A national index of police data means that officers cannot escape their record simply by crossing state lines. The index contains a unique identifier for each officer that follows them wherever they go.
Supports Data Journalism
Journalism has evolved beyond just print and visual media. Now, journalists can release interactive databases that can be accessed by researchers and activists worldwide. The NPDC supports that work creates a national community of data activists.
Secure Data Sharing for Attorneys
Police departments have had the advantage of presenting a united front to a disparate collection of civil rights and defense attorneys. The NPDC is creating a common dataset for all attorneys who deal with police misconduct to allow they to coordinate and take on repeat offenders as one.