City of Kirkland wants community feedback on police use of force data dashboard

The use of force dashboard offers a variety of police use of force data to the public.

The City of Kirkland introduced a draft Police Use of Force Dashboard that makes available to the public data on use of force incidents from 2016 through 2020.

The use of force dashboard was one of several actions called for in Resolution R-5434, which was adopted by the City Council in August 2020 to help “ensure the safety and respect of Black people and to dismantle structural racism in Kirkland.”

The published dashboard is a preliminary version of the interface, and the City seeks feedback from the community on ways to make the dashboard as effective as possible.

“Following the tragic murder of George Floyd in 2020 and demand for action in Kirkland, the City Council committed to several strategies to increase transparency and accountability,” said Deputy Mayor Jay Arnold. “Publishing this draft use of force dashboard is one step of that effort, and I’m eager to explore the data to see what insights we can learn to inform potential changes in policy, programs, or processes.”

The dashboard is the result of months of analysis of the Police Department’s use of force incidents by Police Strategies LLC, a third-party vendor that provides both data evaluation and analysis, as well as the public-facing interactive dashboard. Development of the draft dashboard was also informed by community input and industry best practices.

The dashboard provides use of force data, allowing the public to see:

-Date, time and location of use of force incidents.

-Age, race, gender of subjects, and incident type as tracked in the current police report system.

-Officer force tactics, including type of force used and number of officers involved.

“The use of force by officers is a matter of community concern, not just in Kirkland but across the nation,” said Police Chief Cherie Harris. “Transparency is one of the driving factors in gaining the trust of the community we serve, and this draft use of force dashboard is one tool to help in that effort.”

As part of the Jan. 18 council meeting, the City Council received the first of two presentations on the third-party evaluation and analysis of the Department’s use of force data and the creation of the draft dashboard. That presentation, available on the City’s website, focused on Police Strategies’ methodologies used for evaluation, with some high-level results presented. The second presentation to Council, anticipated to occur at the March 1, 2022 Council meeting, will focus on the results of the use of force analysis and recommendations that come from that analysis.

The use of force dashboard is one of several initiatives called for in R-5434. More information about R-5434 is available on the city website.