Hampton Police Division launches open data project

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HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) – The Hampton Police Division unveiled its open data portal Friday afternoon.

The Hampton Division says it will now upload information to its website through an open data portal sponsored by the White House.

Citizens will have access to crime statistics, officer-involved shooting information and other data. The user will be able to download, embed, save and filter the information.

The Open Data Project is about crime and police operations in Hampton. It is about transparency and getting out as much information as possible. Hampton Police Chief Terry Sult said, “But if we can put that information out there, preemptively, in a variety of ways — we are reducing costs, reducing staff time and creating legitimacy in our department.”

Hampton is one of 21 law enforcement agencies nationwide selected to participate in this initiative.

Thanks to chance conversations at The Police Executive Research Forum, Chief Sult made connections and those connections paid off.

The White House Office of Science and Technology learned about the Chief’s interest and asked Hampton to become part of the White House Police Open Data Initiative.

Here’s how the Open Data Project works: In Hampton, you can find all the incidents reported to police for the quarter. You can do it by listings and bar charts. There’s a year to date comparison of offenses updated weekly.

The Chief said at a news conference, “If people understand where a current crime problem is, and how it is trending, then maybe they understand where and how we deploy resources.”

There is a category for officer involved shooting reports. There is data on all police shootings since 2010. “All too often you have officer involved shootings, and you have to get out information or it appears we are hiding behind the secret wall,” said Chief Sult.

Break down the wall and get out as much information as you can as quickly as you can.

How about high accident locations in your neighborhood? You can see on the site how safe you really are and crimereports.com reports on crimes accurate at the time of processing, “If we can be more forth coming and proactive with that then when we have to keep that information close at hand to preserve the integrity of an investigation then maybe there’s a little more trust from the community,” the Chief added.

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