In 2016 the Ferndale Police Department committed to releasing 3 community-interaction datasets as part of the White House Police Data Initiative. However, without the resources to pursue it, nothing was done until the department partnered with the Citizen Interaction Design (CID) program in 2017.
Through the CID program, I worked to convene a community open data task force comprised of local community activists, police reform experts, police department representatives and elected officials. This task force met to guide the process and ensure that information shared with the public was relevant and had the appropriate context. Ferndale is only the second department in the country to engage a community task force in guiding its open data initiative from the outset. With the task force’s guidance, we prepared datasets of officer demographics, community interactions, and six years of crime data.
Continuing into the summer of 2017, I worked as the CID Open Data Fellow with the City of Ferndale to create an open data portal and broaden the work started by the Police Department. I convened a Records Management Task Force to catalog the city’s records in each department and prepare them for digitization and release. I supported the release of the new city website, and coordinated its release with the new open data portal. And I worked with various stakeholders to release and analyze datasets of interest to the public, including city zoning, new development, fleet vehicle efficiency, and more now available on the portal.
Sustainability was a key priority for the initiative, and I worked to create open data processes and documentation, awareness and training, and began the process of proposing a City Council Open Data Policy Directive. Currently, I’m working with the Police Department and the University of Michigan to conduct a Veil of Darkness study on their 2016 traffic stops.
Medium: ArcGIS Open Data Portal
Target audience: Citizens, Academics