During the past few years there has been increased public interest in accessing police data and improving accountability and transparency. Many law enforcement agencies across the United States release police data online in an effort to meet increased requests for public records and as part of city-wide open government initiatives.

For the domestic violence and sexual assault community, police data could help inform the public about how law enforcement responds to and handles sexual assault and domestic violence crimes. However, the data sets themselves can also be problematic for victims of violence. For example, most of the open data sets are incident level, which means that what is published is information about a specific crime that includes, at the very least, the date, time, location (actual location or block address), incident number, and type of crime (domestic violence, assault, rape, etc.

In response to these efforts, we have developed a set of resources to support law enforcement, advocates and communities in efforts to ensure victim privacy and safety while increasing transparency through Open Data and the Police Data Initiatives.