The page features community engagement resources, a diversity dashboard, crime statistics and use-of-force data.
A website intended to increase transparency in the Evanston Police Department, one billed as a “Transparency Hub,” is up and running.
Police Officer Enjoli Daley presented the website at a Seventh Ward meeting on Feb. 16.
“The whole goal of this is to give our community easier access to data and information about the Police Department,” she said.
The department has had transparency dashboards in the past, but they had to be updated manually, typically by police or Information Technology staff, which was time-consuming and meant the information was not always up-to-date, Daley explained at the meeting.
The new site updates every day automatically, and is serviced by Esri, a global data warehouse based in Redlands, Calif., which the city uses for its mapping system, said Daley. Since March, police staff have worked to transform the page into “something that is unique to Evanston,” she said.
Under the website’s community engagement tab, residents can report a crime, submit a 311 request, text a crime tip, complete a feedback survey and learn about the department’s deployment process and community programs. The page includes an interactive map in which community members can enter their addresses and find out who their community officer is.
The dashboard also outlines the Police Department’s racial makeup and offers diversity and wellness resources.
“What a lot of people may not necessarily know is that Evanston is probably one of the most racially diverse Police Departments for a suburban department,” Daley said.
Residents also can view data on crime, traffic stops and use of force by race. According to 2021 data available on the website, officers targeted Black residents in 65.2% in use-of-force cases. Official data shows 16% of the Evanston population is Black.
“I must preface this by saying we are still working on our use-of-force data,” said Daley. Use of force data is particularly difficult to upload because staff have to go through each case individually, she said.
The website currently only reflects one year of data, but should reflect data going back five years within the next couple of weeks, Daley said. The site is still a work in progress, she added.
“I believe it’s only going to get better the more feedback that we get from the community,” she said.