Chicago Police Department Launches Online Trust Dashboard

Partnership with Elucd has gathered more than 63,000 resident survey responses thus far, illustrating how public trust in police has increased since 2017 thanks to community policing efforts and initiatives

CHICAGO — The Chicago Police Department (CPD) today launched a new public sentiment dashboard that offers a glimpse into how safe Chicago residents feel and how much they trust the police in their neighborhoods. Available through a link on the CPD homepage, the new dashboard allows the public to track sentiment on public safety and trust citywide as well as within the Department’s five detective areas and hyper-localized within all 22 districts. This latest dashboard builds on the Department’s ongoing efforts toward increasing public transparency by utilizing data and analytics.

 “Chicagoans are only as safe as they feel, and this tool gives the Department an actionable metric to measure the health of the relationship between the city’s residents and its police department,” said Superintendent David O. Brown. “Sharing this information through an online dashboard makes CPD more transparent and thus reinforces our commitment to building community trust.”

The launch of the new dashboard is the latest achievement in an ongoing partnership with Elucd, a national data research company which compiles information based on short, confidential surveys to Chicago’s residents. Elucd began capturing localized responses in late 2017 and thus far, more than 63,000 Chicago residents have already given their feedback. Over the past three years, public sentiment for trust in police has trended upward.

The survey typically gathers 1,500-2,000 responses from Chicago residents every month, across all 22 police districts. The survey results are not meant to serve as percentage scores but rather measure the overall feeling of safety and trust and also identify specific concerns residents want police to address.

“The first mission of every police officer is to ensure the safety of the residents they serve; however, we know that mission is not built on manpower or force but a foundation of trust. That’s why we’re thrilled to launch this new tool that will better illustrate not only the Department’s strengths in building community trust and legitimacy but also areas where we need to improve our efforts,” said Commander Angel Novalez, Office of Community Policing.

Department leaders are using the insights from these surveys and metrics in multiple ways to inform policies and practices, including using the tool to better understand the effectiveness of the Department’s community engagement efforts throughout Chicago’s neighborhoods. For example, the data was used to measure the impact of Chicago’s Neighborhood Policing Initiative (NPI) when it debuted in the 25th (Grand Central) District. Both trust and safety scores improved as District Coordination Officers (DCOs) were deployed to the field.

The DCOs work directly with community members to resolve issues through collaboration with residents and remedy neighborhood problems with the help of beat officers, detectives, aldermen, area businesses and sister agencies. Based on positive feedback from residents and Elucd data, the program has since expanded to the 15th (Austin), 9th (Deering), 10th (Ogden) and 11th (Harrison) District.

“Since launching the Neighborhood Policing Initiative, CPD has been working to address deeply-rooted mistrust between police and communities,” said Mecole Jordan-McBride, Advocacy Director of the Policing Project at NYU School of Law. “With today’s announcement, CPD leaders are demonstrating a commitment to transparency as they make the feedback they receive from Chicagoans about their personal experiences and opinions about the police publicly available." 

The Elucd partnership also supports the Department’s efforts toward compliance with consent decree requirements, which calls for CPD to develop procedures to annually evaluate the effectiveness of the Department’s work and strategies for building community partnerships and using problem-solving techniques aimed at reducing crime and improving quality of life.

“Elucd was created to fill the void left by old approaches to soliciting public feedback. Those approaches, like phone surveys conducted every year or two, are inadequate for leaders striving to better understand and serve their residents. Real-time, constantly evolving data, including open-ended feedback from residents in every neighborhood, is a modern necessity. It enables data-based decisions and allows real people to inform policies that affect them. We’re thrilled to continue our partnership with the Chicago Police Department and applaud CPD leadership for taking seriously the need to better understand those they serve,” said Sujeet Rao, Elucd’s chief operating officer.

Elucd uses its surveys to reach all corners of the city, and data will be updated monthly on the Department’s website. These open-ended responses are often specific and actionable, pointing to problems unique to each neighborhood that otherwise might not be surfaced. Residents will identify issues such as drug dealing or dangerous traffic conditions on specific cross streets that police can then investigate further.

Score Calculation Methodology

Elucd’s trust and safety scores are generated from rating scale questions that people answer within surveys. Residents respond to three questions to create scores measuring their level of trust in police and how safe they feel in their community. Elucd then generates a monthly score, based on the latest data. Those scores represent the average response among respondents in that neighborhood, weighted to match that neighborhood’s demographic makeup.

These scores are not percentages. Elucd’s weighting accounts for the responses of every single person who answered a question. The responses give a proportional voice to all demographics (e.g., by age, sex, race, education level, and income level) based on the makeup of that area. 

Elucd’s scores reflect the diversity of Chicago’s neighborhoods and incorporate voices from all corners of the community. To do so, Elucd sets response targets based on U.S. Census data about the districts and areas measured. Using geotags or zip codes associated with each confidential survey response, the system assigns responses to the neighborhoods where they originate.

Elucd ensures the security and privacy of its data and survey respondents. Survey responses are completely anonymous, unless a respondent chooses to share their email address for follow-up purposes, in which case their survey responses are kept confidential. Elucd does not collect a respondent’s name, address, or other personal identifying information.

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