Thanks for subscribing to email updates from the Police Data Accessibility Project!
Since I last wrote in August, we’ve made a working prototype and real progress toward the first of our three major milestones.
We’re cataloguing Data Sources (what is that?) so that we know which records are available about each police agency. You can use search filters to find different types of records. You can explore our working prototype here and let us know what you think. For example, here are some police contracts from Allegheny County.
If you have scraped, FOIA’d, or otherwise collected public records in the past, you can share your sources with the community! Either provide a way to contact you, or PDAP will serve as a liaison for interested parties.
If you want to use data about the police for an interesting project, reach out! We can help. We’ll connect you with people who have complementary skills and expertise, and support you in other ways depending on the project.
Right now, we’re turning this prototype into a proper app.
Next: We’re working on tools for grouping, automation, and community ownership of Data Sources. You’ll be able to monitor the status of records you care about, and collaborate with others to scrape and use them.
After that: We’ll become a hub for directly accessing data. This means work-hardened data processing pipelines, provenance we can vouch for, and UI / API interfaces for the most useful information.
If you believe in our mission, now is a great time to donate. Our staff is covered, but our tools are on a shoestring budget. A little goes a long way at this early, scrappy stage.
That’s all for now. Keep experimenting, and doing good work with criminal justice data. If you have questions or comments, reply to this email or find us in Discord!