Data Engineer


Los Angeles, CA or New York, NY (or remote, for the right candidate)  

About The Center For Policing Equity

The Center for Policing Equity (CPE) is a research and action think tank that, through evidence-based approaches to social justice, conducts research and uses data to create levers for social, cultural, and policy change. 

Position Description

The Center for Policing Equity is looking for a skilled Data Engineer with a passion for social justice issues. The Data Engineer will collaborate with data scientists and data managers who develop and use a codebase that audits, wrangles, and analyzes police data belonging to CPE’s National Justice Database (NJD). The Data Engineer will be responsible for supporting and maintaining the codebase, and will partner with the data science team to design and build a full relational database to house NJD data. They will also spearhead the transition from static reporting to the use of automated dashboards for front-end delivery of information to our clients.

The NJD is the first and largest collection of standardized data on police behavior in the country (e.g., vehicle stops, pedestrian stops, use of force, complaints against officers, etc.). Each police department participating in the NJD delivers data to this team for wrangling and analysis, and then receives a report and recommendations with the ultimate goal of reducing bias and increasing procedural justice and police legitimacy in the community.

Key Responsibilities

  • Support the use of a custom-built Python application (as a Docker image) to facilitate local, automated wrangling and analysis of policing data belonging to the NJD
  • In conjunction with the data science team and (potentially) a data architect, design and implement a strategy for restructuring NJD police data into a relational  database that meets the needs of our users and clients
  • Manage any server or cloud infrastructure integral to the setup and maintenance of the database, including access controls and security
  • Manage the integration of our data sources with a Tableau dashboard (or other front-end solution) and manage user access for the front-end system
  • In conjunction with the data manager, develop and maintain a data pipeline for end-to-end delivery of data from the department through preprocessing and  analysis to an end-user portal
  • Assist the data science team in implementing version control (git) across the data science workflow (to include, but not limited to, training and troubleshooting  common issues)


  • Excellent communication, leadership and time management skills
  • Experience with basic Bash scripting
  • Advanced Python skills
  • Working knowledge of Windows, Linux, and OSX
  • Superior attention to detail
  • Experience building and managing an open-source relational database like PostgreSQL or MySQL
  • Deep knowledge of and ability to assist users with git
  • Proactive in surfacing problems and finding solutions
  • Great written and verbal communication skills  
  • Passionate about social justice issues

Other Relevant Qualifications (desired, but not required)

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology, Computer Science, Software Engineering, Data Science, or related field
  • Industry certifications and memberships
  • Experience in NOSQL databases like MongoDB
  • Experience managing a Tableau dashboard
  • Experience with R
  • Experience with Javascript, especially Node.js

Application Submission Guidelines

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. However, applications received after February 14, 2020 will receive delayed consideration. To apply, please submit the following materials to  to apply.

  • CV/resume
  • Cover Letter

Please be sure to label each PDF file by including your name. For example, your submitted CV should be labeled, “LASTNAME_FIRSTNAME.CV.pdf.”

The Center for Policing Equity strives to build a diverse team that is inclusive of multiple perspectives and welcoming for people of all backgrounds. Women and members of minority communities are especially encouraged to apply.