Tracking Data to Improve Transparency
It’s affecting agencies of all sizes around the nation — the call for increased accountability and transparency between law enforcement and the public. In many cases, tensions are high, and lives are at risk. With recent incidents between officers and community members making national headlines, the demand for more accountability and transparency has taken center stage. The Westland Police Department in Michigan took this demand very seriously and wanted to find a way to meet the needs of their local community better. To enact change, they needed to:
- Enhance transparency and access to data
- Improve accountability internally and externally
- Establish trust with the community
Westland is setting an example for other departments in the area, showing they are accountable to the citizens that they serve.
2nd VP Western Wayne, NAACP
But the Westland PD did not possess the tools necessary to provide the community with the desired level of transparency. The lack of tools resulted in the inability to collect, analyze, and store important information efficiently. All the agency could do was manually record each incident in a spreadsheet, leaving it with no way to transfer the data to an easily readable format for the public.
To mitigate challenges, the Westland PD implemented innovative technology to provide the community and the agency with the tools necessary to achieve its goals with transparency, accountability, and trust.
The Westland PD implemented Tyler Technologies’ Agency Intelligence, digitizing its manual processes.
Offering this information is so much better than not offering it. It’s real and is working to instill trust in our community.
Lt. Robert Wilkie
Tyler Technologies’ Agency Intelligence integrated Westland PD’s data sources, digitizing its manual processes.
With the Agency Intelligence dashboard, the public has instant access to public safety data. The ability to see this data in real-time has provided a new level of transparency between law enforcement and the community.
For example, residents can now see this information anytime they wish instead of wondering how many arrests have been made within city limits.
I believe the Agency Intelligence dashboard is exactly what communities have been asking for throughout the entire country.
Chief of Police, Westland PD
In addition to improving transparency within the community, these new tools also allow command staff to see the bigger picture when focusing on what's going on internally and within their jurisdiction. By collecting data and displaying it in an easily consumable format, command staff can identify patterns and make informed decisions.
From a community perspective, local leaders and the public who were once requesting more transparency and accountability were now commending the department's efforts. The department was praised in the media and referred to as 'trailblazers' in police accountability, due to the changes implemented that improved its transparency and innovation.
As a result of its improved transparency and accountability, the department received a Community Partner award from its local chapter of the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
The leadership of the NAACP stated that Westland PD did what needs to be done by all police departments and set an excellent example for other departments by showing what it truly means to be accountable to the community it serves.