Screenshot of the Rancho Cucamonga public safety dashboard.
By Liset Márquez, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 05/06/16 – 5:04 PM PDT |
RANCHO CUCAMONGA >> Well before President Barack Obama’s Police Task Force recommended making police activity data readily available to the public, this city was already providing that level of transparency for its residents.
Since April 2015 Rancho Cucamonga’s public safety online dashboard allows residents to view real-time updates, showing response time from the San Bernardino County sheriff’s substation and fire department.
After learning about Rancho Cucamonga’s online dashboard, the White House invited a contingent from Rancho Cucamonga to contribute to the Police Data Initiative.
“We were already publishing this dashboard long before the police data initiative staff put their mission together. They reached out to us because we were already doing what they want other agencies to do,” said Capt. Danielle Boldt.
Cities participating in the initiative are asked to release three open datasets about policing activities over the coming months — response times, the number of crime incidents and the number of traffic incidents. But Boldt said Rancho Cucamonga already releases those figures almost as soon as they are available.
To improve transparency, the city’s online dashboard includes interactive data, charts and maps, said Donna Finch, a management analyst in the City Manager’s Office. Data released as of March 2016 show the police department had an average response time of 3.8 minutes for emergency service calls; there were 3,483 crime incidents and 522 traffic incidents.
The one-day White House gathering April 22 allowed city officials to hear from other law enforcement agencies and cities about how they’re releasing data to the public. Rancho Cucamonga’s contingent included, Boldt, Finch and Darryl Polk, director of Innovation and Technology — all three have been involved in the city’s dashboard.
For Polk, getting to meet officials from larger cities was very educational, “as far as lessons learned from other agencies.”
“I partnered with Orlando, and Orlando has very different set of challenges that we have. Hearing those challenges and hearing how they met them was very valuable,” he said.
There were about 175 representatives from 53 cities in attendance. Only six cities were from California, including Rancho Cucamonga, the only San Bernardino County city.
By publishing these three datasets, Boldt said, it is a tool for her staff to refer the public to the answers for their questions.
“So the community can get some intelligible information and get make some decisions, and reach their own conclusions,” Polk said. “We have our conclusions, but the exciting thing about this is it allows the community to challenge it or support it or have a dialogue about it.”
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