Organize Data: Systems for Organizing Law Enforcement Misconduct Data

Before choosing a tool for organizing misconduct data, establish your project scope with a data collection plan. This will identify your priority agencies, data sources, and collaborators. Once you have a data collection plan, consider how you want to store that data.

  • Will you be collecting any data that is confidential, attorney-client privileged?
  • Will you be collaborating with groups outside of your office? Will you need to limit what data you share with groups outside your office?
  • Do you plan to use it to lookup officers or to analyze trends and patterns?

Below is a list of ways to store your data and their capabilities. The Full Disclosure Project Application meets all of these needs, however the application also requires time, training, and skills to maintain it which may not be possible for everyone.

Features matrix

Given your data and access needs, which system is best for you? Check marks indicate that the features are available for that system. See brief descriptions for each type of system below.

  Data Access
Link source documents Easy search tool

Officer profiles

Analyze trends 

Cloud access Pool data with other groups Limit what data you share 
FDP Application X X X X X X X
Simplified FDP table X     X X X X
People’s Database X X     X    
Cloud-based Drive X       X X  
Spreadsheet       X      
Shared Folder X            

FDP Application

The FDP Application requires staffing, advanced knowledge, and time to maintain. This application is open-source.

Simplified FDP Data Table

We simplified our application's data model and put it into the online database called Airtable. Learn how to use the simplified FDP data table.

Airtable simplified data template

Spreadsheet 

Follow this guide on how to use the FDP simplified data table. However, instead of using the table on Airtable, re-create the tabs and fields of our simplified data template in an excel file. 

Sample Excel document

Continue reading below

Shared Folder 

Set up a shared folder on a shared drive within your organization. 

Folder icon

Cloud Drive

Follow the instructions for using a shared folder, but instead of an internal shared folder, create your folder on a cloud application (Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, etc.). 

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Continue reading below

Peoples' Database 

Pro: Thorough model for organizing primarily video-based records of misconduct 

Con: Requites time to set up, need file maker pro, and some technical understanding to stand-up 

See the guide

Case Management System

Some case management systems can track law enforcement officers and basic documentation about their conduct. Capabilities will vary greatly by what system you have. 

Continue reading below

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◄ How to Track Police Misconduct