In the wake of Freddie Gray‘s untimely death and the subsequent unrest in Baltimore, the city is taking steps towards being more transparent with its residents.
911 calls will now be available for review on the “Open Baltimore” website (data.baltimorecity.gov).The data will not include names or exact addresses to protect the caller’s privacy.
The sharing of this information is in response to many residence complaints that it takes far too long for officers to arrive to a scene. Open Baltimore will give residents the ability to see officer’s priorities and where their call is ranked amongst the other requests in their neighborhood.
The city is hoping the website will encourage residents to call 311 for non-emergencies as opposed to 911 to give officers the opportunity to respond to more pressing matters.
According to the Baltimore Sun, the next step for the Open Baltimore portal may be releasing data on “use of force” incidents. The city is currently investigating how to do so while respecting existing laws and due process of police officers.
With police as a whole being vilified in the media for the careless actions of a few, Baltimore Commissioner Kevin Davis hopes the new site allows residents to see that officers are living up to their ‘protect and serve’ motto. “[Open Baltimore] benefits the community and vast majority of police officers who come to work and do the right thing” said Davis.