Creating a national justice database wasn’t our idea.
In fact, it was a major city police chief who actually suggested that such a database be created to help law enforcement professionals, officers, supporters, changemakers, and others better understand how to best serve and protect.
From that idea, offered more as a question of possibility than a declaration of intention, our organization expanded its services and began developing the National Justice Database.
Powerful National Database
The Justice Database is the nation’s first database tracking national statistics on police behavior, including stops and use of force, and will standardize data collection across many of the country’s police departments. Led by four principal investigators—Amanda Geller, Jack Glaser, Phillip Atiba Goff, Steven Raphael—more than 40 national police departments and law enforcement agencies have signed on to participate so far. These law enforcement agencies include more than half of all major cities, and service more than 25% of the nation’s population. In short, it’s powerful data!
The database is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation as well as grants from a number of private organizations.
Combining Many Academic Disciplines
Focusing on what causes racial disparities in policing and how one can measure these disparities, the Justice Database uses tools taken from sociology, demography, public policy, criminology, psychology, and behavioral economics. This project capitalizes on existing research collaborations between the Center for Policing Equity and law enforcement departments across the United States to produce a mixed-methods approach to understanding what produces racial inequality in complex systems (i.e., policing).
Former Salt Lake City Policy Chief Chris Burbank serves as CPE’s Director of Law Enforcement Engagement for the National Justice Database, which was established in response to calls from law enforcement executives around the country.