A map on Baltimore's new public safety data dashboard shows the homicides that have occurred in the city in 2023 as of Feb. 11, 2023. Screenshot via Baltimore City Public Safety Accountability Dashboard.

Baltimore City on Tuesday launched a new online dashboard that aims to make it easier for residents to view crime rates, victim demographics, violence intervention areas, and other public safety data.

The dashboard is meant to increase transparency and allow the public to better hold agencies accountable in their public safety efforts, city officials said.

“Evaluation and accountability are central pillars of Baltimore’s Comprehensive Violence Prevention Plan, because when it comes to public safety, progress can and should be measured,” Mayor Brandon Scott said in a statement. “The Public Safety Accountability Dashboard provides a real-time look at the numbers that inform our data-driven efforts in ways that directly address Baltimore’s latest public safety trends. This innovative tool is core to upholding my commitment to transparency and accessibility in ways that also bring City government into the 21st century. I look forward to the further partnership cultivated by the dashboard with Baltimoreans across the city to increase public safety for all.”

The Public Safety Accountability Dashboard was developed by the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement (MONSE) in coordination with the city’s Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, Baltimore’s Chief Data Officer, the Mayor’s Office of Performance of Innovation, and other agencies.

Creation of the dashboard was also informed by public feedback from four virtual focus groups.

“We know that the most effective policies and tools are co-informed by those responsible for their creation and execution and by Baltimoreans’ lived experiences, which is why it was so important for us to hear from our community members before releasing the dashboard publicly,” said MONSE Executive Director Shantay Jackson in a statement. “The biggest takeaway is that this is Baltimore’s Dashboard. For the first time ever, folks who live, work, and play in Baltimore have a clear view into what’s happening in our city, can follow along with our work to affect change for the better, and partner with us as we carry out the Mayor’s Comprehensive Violence Prevention Plan.”

The public safety dashboard is divided into six main categories:

  • Crime Summary: including rates of homicides, nonfatal shootings, carjackings and other crimes all broken down by year (starting in 2012), police district, and neighborhood. The dashboard shows the year-over-year percentage increase or decrease for each crime.
  • Crime Map: showing instances of homicides, violent crime, and property crime broken down by year (again starting in 2012) with the ability to narrow the data down by month, police district, neighborhood, crime type, and victim’s age.
  • Arrests: Arrests broken down by year, police district, neighborhood, and charge with a map of the where the arrest occurred (not the location of the incident the arrest is based on).
  • Convictions & Dispositions: Data on incident types, sentencing, verdicts, and a scrollable chart with individual case information.
  • Demographics: Neighborhood demographics broken down by race, age, sex, and housing type, with the ability to search by address.
  • CVI Ecosystem Map: A map shows Baltimore’s “community violence intervention ecosystem,” including 10 Safe Streets sites, hospital-based and school-based violence intervention programs, victim services, and more.

“Information is empowering, which is why I’m excited to see the launch of this Public Safety Accountability Dashboard,” Baltimore State’s Attorney Ivan Bates said in a statement. “This level of transparency allows us as public servants to establish measurable goals and be held accountable for our work. I look forward to continued partnership with MONSE, BPD, and the Mayor’s Office as we collaborate to make Baltimore safer for everyone.”

City officials said they will add more data points to the dashboard in the future, including warrant information from the sheriff’s office, gun seizures, and intimate partner violence data, with the ability to filter by Baltimore City Council or state legislative districts.

“This dashboard is another tool that exemplifies BPD’s commitment to transparency, collaboration and accountability in building trust and creating a well-informed public. The ability to combine data with our public safety partners represents something new among other law enforcement agencies and cities,” Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said in a statement. “This tool reaffirms our partnership with the communities we serve and creates a safer Baltimore through data-driven strategies.”

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Marcus Dieterle

Marcus Dieterle is the managing editor of Baltimore Fishbowl. He returned to Baltimore in 2020 after working as the deputy editor of the Cecil Whig newspaper in Elkton, Md. He can be reached at marcus@baltimorefishbowl.com...

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