Norfolk police chief gives update on transparency measures at council meeting

Norfolk

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Norfolk Police Chief Larry Boone updated city council Tuesday night on efforts to be more transparent with how the police department shares information with the public.

The department announced the launch of a new Data Hub as well as a partnership with the Center for Policing Equity (CPE) on Tuesday, which Boone touched upon during the meeting.

Police officials say the hub makes five years of data, refreshed every weekday, available to the public. Information regarding police personnel, citizen complaints, and use of force will be collected and presented in an interactive, easy-to-read format.

“The hub builds on NPD’s ongoing efforts to improve transparency, community relations, and policing in Norfolk,” says Lori Crouch with the City of Norfolk. 

Through their partnership with CPE, law enforcement officials hope to reduce, with the goal to eliminate, “racially disparate policing and produce public safety worthy of community trust.” The organization will examine a variety of the data provided by NPD.

CPE will share its insights and recommendations with Norfolk police on how they can improve their policing to decrease racial disparities and inequities.

“This bold move, to be the first police department in the nation to partner with the Center for Policing Equity, speaks volumes to NPD’s efforts in promoting transparency and accountability on behalf of the community we serve,” said Boone. “If police are to be of service to communities, they need to build trust with communities that are likely to distrust them.”

Last year, the city council voted to spend a million dollars to analyze how to best display comments received against officers, use of force data and what kind of disciplinary action officers face. The move came following protests last summer after the city had refused to release raw information concerning use-of-force data.

Council was also expected to vote on a proposal that would change the deadline to sign up to speak at council meetings from 10 minutes before the meeting starts to 3 hours before the meeting. The city clerk says the proposal is aimed at better organizing things.

Stay with WAVY.com for updates on this story.

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