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Code for America Joins White House Convening on Tech and Community Safety

We’re in the middle of a defining moment for U.S. law enforcement. With the numerous officer-involved shootings and the resulting public unrest in communities across the country, it’s time to act.

Tomorrow, I’ll be at the White House with the Indianapolis fellowship team, police leaders, city data and analytics officers, and Senior Administration and White House officials, exploring ways technology and data can increase police accountability and transparency.

fellows meet with Vallejo police.

Code for Vallejo fellows meet with police and community members.

Over the last 20 years, law enforcement has embraced the use of data analytics to determine how best to deploy its resources to enhance public safety. Now, the question is, how can government leverage data and technology to prevent police misconduct and strengthen the relationship between police and communities impacted by crime and violence?

The White House Domestic Policy Council, in collaboration with the Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, asked Code for America to participate in the working session because we continue to build bridges between local government and technologists in an effort to create a justice system that is efficient, laser-focused on outcomes, and fundamentally fair.

The Code for America Indianapolis fellowship team, including Indianapolis city officials, will be present for the day-long meeting. Indianapolis is one of a select group of cities across the country that has volunteered to open some data from their police department as part of the White House Task Force on 21st Century Policing.

This gathering of key decision makers and subject matter experts, and the pressure from the White House to open police agency data, is a major opportunity to see if increased data collection and analysis could result in:

  • lower citizen complaints
  • fewer bad police/citizen encounters
  • increased public trust
  • (ideally) lower crime rates

When I return from D.C., and Code for America pushes forward in Indianapolis and Vallejo, it’s my hope is that the tools created there can inspire digital policing solutions in other cities, and that we continue to grow the network of dedicated law enforcement leaders and technologists working on these issues. Our communities are counting on it.