November 16, 2015

Indy, Other Cities Launch Open Data Portal

Ryan Delaney/WFYI

Ryan Delaney/WFYI

Some of the most common data requests central Indiana city officials field are now available in an online, searchable database. Fishers, Zionsville and Greenwood are joining Indianapolis in publishing police statistics in an online web portal.

The cities are posting records of complaints against police, law enforcement use of force and officer-involved shootings all on one website. The site -- -- launched Monday and the other cities will follow soon.

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard says transparency trumps any concern over someone digging up dirt.

"There’s always somebody who will be able to pull something down and say what about this, what about this. But if it’s out there pretty transparently, pretty openly, it’s just out there," Ballard said. "What are you going to say?"

Chris Reed is a fellow with Code for America, who helped upload the police department data. He says since IMPD keeps good computer records, the hardest part was making it understandable for the public.

"So it was really just working closely with IMPD to talk about translating the language of that application and the language of police policy into something that the public could consume and understand and act on," he said.

City officials say they hope to expand the amount of data available soon, first expanding with code enforcement records.

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