Salt Lake City joins the Police Data Initiative.

Salt Lake City joins the Police Data Initiative

Responding to the call for police departments to be more transparent, the Salt Lake City Police Department (SLCPD) has joined the White House’s Police Data Initiative and is now releasing monthly data on use-of-force incidents.

SLCPD has launched a web page with data detailing how often officers use their weapons and what weapons they use. Users can view the stats in charts or download data on the race of the suspect, what tools or weapons the police showed, what weapon was used and injuries to the officer and suspect. 

The data released from February shows 93 percent of police use-of-force reports involved handcuffs only. Two percent of reports included officers showing, but not using, their handguns and less than 1 percent involved the use of Tasers.

While the site seems like a step forward in community-police relations, critics point to the fact that the site only includes information for the month for February.  And although the SLCPD said it’s planning to release more information from 2016, it will not release data on past years. 

Sgt. Robin Heiden, a spokeswoman for the SLCPD, said the department plans on rolling out two more sites -- covering assaults and officer-involved shootings -- in the near future.

The SLCPD joins 52 other departments across the country sharing information in the Police Data Initiative.

About the Author

Derek Major is a former reporter for GCN.

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