Crime News

City of Dallas launches new interactive website for crime-watchers

City of Dallas launches new interactive website for crime-watchers

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New website will increase transparency on crime. HuffingtonPost.com

The city of Dallas has created a new online tool for crime-watchers. According to a release, their new interactive Crime Analytics Dashboard can serve as a one-stop shop for most crime related data.

Developed by the city's Office of Data Analytics and Business Intelligence (DBI) in partnership with the Dallas Police Department (DPD), the website will help Concerned Citizens — as well as journalists who prefer to do their work from the easy confines of their cubicles to track crime — but without compromising sensitive data.

Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia says that it's part of their goal to facilitate transparency.

"As a department, we are always looking for ways to build community trust and increase transparency. This new interactive dashboard does just that," Garcia says. "I hope that people will use this tool to find out more about what is happening in their community, and also learn more about the hard work the men and women of DPD put in each day to fight crime in our city."

The dashboard will be able to:

  • Display more crime-related data and information than the public has previously had access to. This has been done without compromising victim identity or sensitive data.
  • Provide crime heat maps to show crime hot spots in the City.

The dashboard includes DPD data from the last two years and will refresh daily. The release says that, beyond the transparency benefit, it allows the public and city leaders to gain deeper insight into crime analytics in the City of Dallas.

For example, while hovering over number cards and graphs, viewers can see year-over-year crime trends for all crime categories.

The dashboard will also show metrics like total crimes, violent crime, family violence, hate crime, and murder rate.

Analytics on the dashboard are organized by areas like council district, zip code, and police areas such as beat and reporting area

"The goal of this dashboard was not only to share crime related data and information with our community, but also, to do so in a way that is easily understood by a viewer," says Chief Data Officer Dr. Brita Andercheck.

To that end, DBI has published an accompanying story page to the dashboard that provides instructions on navigating the dashboard and using its interactive features.

  • The first page, the Crime Overview page, is the primary page and contains data for all crimes in the dashboard.
  • The second page, the Victim Demographics page displays aggregated data that gives insight about the victims of Crimes Against Person by race, ethnicity, sex, age, and hate crime anti-bias.
  • The third page, the Crime by Day/Time page explores the "when" of crime by showing the distribution of crimes by month, day, hour, and Police watch.
  • The fourth page, the Response Times page presents data related to DPD response times and dispatched calls for service. By default, it shows data for Priority 1 calls — but you can use the Select Priority parameter above the map to view data for Priority 2, 3, and 4 calls. This page only shows data at the city wide level and by Police Division.

An offense is classified into three levels: crime, crime category, and crime against.