Radio: Barber Shop Show 261: Task Force Tracker Project

Today I appeared with some colleagues on Vocalo’s The Barbershop Show. Here’s their description of our segment:

The Police Accountability Task Force made a number of recommendations for reform in their report. We heard about an annotated digital version of the report that’s tracking progress made on the recommendations. For that discussion, we heard from:

  • Independent journalist Ade Emmanuel, who wrote an article for Chicago Magazine about a series of Chicago Police contract provisions. The provisions were heavily criticized in the Police Accountability Task Force’s recent report.
    www.chicagomag.com/city-life/April…-by-Task-Force/
  • Dan O’Neil of SmartChicago
  • Darryl Holliday, editorial director of City Bureau

Here’s the show in full on Soundcloud:

And here’s some excerpts of my remarks:

News Article: Chicago seeking ‘smart-city’ tech solutions to improve city life

Today I was quoted in an article in the Chicago Tribune about Chicago’s “smart city” efforts. Here are two relevant snips:

“How do we connect these abstract, big-picture, big-data initiatives to the needs of the residents of Chicago who are struggling under a failure to fund education and under a police force that thwarts the will of the people?” asked Daniel X. O’Neil, executive director of Smart Chicago Collaborative, a civic group that aims to improve residents’ lives through technology.

*

Those lessons likely will apply to Chicago as well as it pursues its smart-city strategies. O’Neil, of the Smart Chicago Collaborative, suggests the city and its partners keep their eyes on one overarching goal.

“I find immense value in what they are doing (but) I continue to drive them, and drive all of us and anyone in the smart-cities movement, to work harder at finding out how we can make lives better,” he said. “I continue to have consternation at how all this fits together.”

Smart City Chicago Tribune

DSC01046 DSC01047 DSC01048 DSC01049

Report: Chicago Police Accountability Task Force

PATF_Final_Report_Executive_Summary_4_13_16Today marks the publication of the  Chicago Police Accountability Task Force, “Recommendations for Reform: Restoring Trust between the Chicago Police and the Communities they Serve“.

I served on the Early Intervention & Personnel Concerns working group, and helped develop this recommendation:

publish, on a monthly basis, aggregate data on the following: new and pending complaints by unit, disciplinary actions, missed court dates, new civil legal proceedings against officers, new criminal legal proceedings against officers, vehicle pursuits, vehicle collisions, uses of force, employee commendations, use of firearms, injuries to persons in custody, judicial proceedings where an officer is the subjective of a protective or restraining order, adverse judicial credibility determinations against an officer, or disciplinary actions.

Here’s a snip from a blog post I wrote, covering the significance of this recommendation and how it might be helpful in creating communion betweens residents and police: “A Radical Approach to Open Police Data

In the civic tech world, “crime data” has always been understood to be about crime reports. I myself have helped make websites, like EveryBlock, that use “crime data” of this kind.

I’ve come to believe, however, that this focus has led to a deeply skewed vision of “crime” and a dangerously incomplete view of how people can work together to improve communities around public safety data.

*

But this information referenced by the Task Force is a new idea altogether. The idea is that in order to have a view of safety in a community, one has to have a view of data on how the police treat residents.

Even in aggregate format, having the police report on how many times a gun was used by an officer, or a judge ruled that an officer lied in court, or the number of times a police car was involved in a crash, can be a breakthrough in getting us to see things differently.

It’s a start in thinking that we’re all in this together— victims, police, offenders, family. That we have to measure and care about and report on all aspects of safety— not just the crime reports that officers decide to create.

 

Panel: Big Data & the Public Good for the Illinois Humanities

Today I moderated a panel for Illinois Humanities about how big data can serve the public good. Here’s how they described it:

What is the relationship between information technology, urban space, and the public good in the age of big data? Where do “smart cities” initiatives like the Array of Things – which doesn’t collect any information about individuals – fit into contemporary conversations about privacy and surveillance? How can the arts and humanities help our society think through these issues?

Alongside the discussion, we’ll also release the second issue of a chapbook set accompanying the Data, Democracy and the Human Story program series, featuring contributions from Chicago-area artists and writers.

Here’s a pic from the stage:

BIG DATA AND THE PUBLIC GOOD

Here’s a Smart Chicago blog post covering the event. Snip:

Dan O’Neil shared some of the best practices that Smart Chicago has gleaned: do engagement work as openly as possibly, document your process and planning, invite everyone, and “fetishize the outputs.” One recent example of model of engagement is Smart Chicago’s work with the Chicago Police Accountability Task Force Community Forums.