The City of Chattanooga and the police department are working together to track crimes and arrests by creating a Policing and Racial Equity Dashboard.
The dashboard displays closed investigations from the Chattanooga Police Department. The dashboard included citations, arrests, use of force, and citizen complaints by race from the last two and a half years.
"With the different black lives matter protests, seems like also a good time to have a data set to help bridge communications between the police and the community about what we're seeing and what this means locally for us," Office of Performance Management and Open Data team member Tim Moreland said.
Two of the builders of the dashboard said data is a representation of the truth, which is exactly what's displayed.
"Because it is that, you can really lean on it for wanting to drive change, or as Tim was talking about, doing root cause analysis kind of looking at these things because then you can use it as evidence," Office of Performance Management and Open Data team member Andrew Sevigny said.
The dashboard shows some disparities. Back people, indigenous, and people of color in Chattanooga have a higher probability of being arrested than white residents, but the number of citations issued is almost proportionate to the population. Arrest and citation information has been available for about a year, but now there are visuals.
"So the public can digest it and easily understand it," Sevigny said.
Sevigny and Moreland said they have two goals. One goal is community transparency.
"What they do and how they do it, how the use of force is used, when and where, it provides a lot of details and it's very fine-grained," Moreland said.
The other goal is data analysis.
"What we're seeing in the data and how that might change how we actually do the practice of policing as an organization," Moreland said.
The information is updated automatically every night. The dashboard builders said webinars and training sessions will be available soon to help explain the numbers.