The page features community engagement resources, a diversity dashboard, crime statistics and use of force data.
A website intended to increase the transparency of the Evanston Police Department, billed as a “Transparency Center», is operational.
Police Constable Enjoli Daley introduced the website at a Seventh Ward meeting on February 16.
“The goal is to give our community easier access to police department data and information,” she said.
The department had transparency dashboards in the past, but they had to be updated manually, usually by police or IT staff, which was time consuming and meant information was not always up to date, Daley explained during the meeting.
The new site is automatically updated daily and is operated by Esri, a global data warehouse based in Redlands, Calif., that the city uses for its mapping system, Daley said. Since March, police staff have worked to turn the page into “something unique to Evanston”, she said.
Under the community engagement tab of the website, residents can report a crime, submit a 311 request, text a crime tip, take a feedback survey, and learn more about the deployment process and departmental community programs. The page includes an interactive map where community members can enter their addresses and find out who their community agent is.
The dashboard also outlines the racial makeup of the police department and offers diversity and wellness resources.
“What a lot of people don’t necessarily know is that Evanston is probably one of the most racially diverse police departments for a suburban department,” Daley said.
Residents can also 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% of use-of-force cases. Official data shows that 16% of Evanston’s population is black.
“I have to start by saying that we are still working on our use of force data,” Daley said. Use of force data is particularly difficult to upload because staff must review each case individually, she said.
The website currently only reflects one year of data, but is expected to reflect data going back five years within the next two weeks, Daley said. The site is still under construction, she added.
“I think it will only get better with the amount of feedback we get from the community,” she said.