Kathleen O’Toole, Chief of Police
Seattle Police Department
As a part of the 2011 Department of Justice investigation and subsequent settlement agreement, the Seattle Police Department (SPD) acknowledged that it lacked the data and systems to support meaningful oversight by supervisors of their officers’ actions, and that front-line officers were not consistently supplied with the tools and knowledge to de-escalate instead of resorting to uses of force. As the SPD progressed through the early stages of the settlement process, and as Chief O’Toole took the reins of the organization, SPD set out a bold plan to collect and bring together the necessary data and analytics to identify problematic trends, support the design of trainings to correct problems, and maintain oversight over all levels of department performance. This plan was the Data Analytics Platform (DAP).
The Seattle Police Department introduced a data analytics platform, developed by Accenture, that provides new systems of oversight, community engagement and statistical reporting.
• Integrates internally-tracked metrics into data dashboards that allow for police leadership to be alerted when metrics exceed predetermined bounds (metrics include use-of-force incidents, number of incidents an officer responds to, average metrics within an officer’s peer group, civilian complaints, number of street stops, number of arrests, training records and a detailed view of each officer’s supervisors)
• Allows police leadership to detect trends and benchmark against one another, bringing new understanding to how the department operates
• Provides a foundation for potential upgrades that include predictive analytics capabilities and integration with emerging technologies like police-worn body cameras
• Offers Seattle Police Department leadership the context it needs to have discussions with the community about how police and the community are interacting
The analytics platform provides department leadership the context needed to have meaningful discussions with the community about how police and the community are interacting. Now that the databases are online and searchable, there are opportunities to build predictive analytics that help the city spot crimes before they happen and link new types of data into the system, such as video and audio. Gunshot detection systems are part of the mayor’s near-term plans as well.