February 21, 2013 — The Salt Lake City Police Department has launched a new webpage that enables the public to view and sort a database of calls for police service, information that is also fed into the city’s free alerts service at (no longer in service).
“The public expects this level of transparency,” said Chief Chris Burbank. “My hope is that it will help to educate the public about the number and types of calls for service, as well as demonstrate the extent of police activity in the city.”
A call is posted to the new webpage, slcpd.com/policecallsforservice, as the responding officer clears it — a delay that gives the officer time to verify the call, respond safely, and secure the scene for investigators before the information is made public. The webpage displays data by the following categories:
After 48 hours, calls drop off the webpage. Archived data is available online at data.slcgov.com, a site which enables users to sort, filter, visualize, export, discuss or embed a variety of the city’s public information.
“This data may be overwhelming to some members of the public, so I encourage them to reach out to their Community Intelligence Officers for context,” Burbank said, noting that all information on the calls-for-service webpage is preliminary, subject to change, and does not necessarily indicate a crime has occurred. In fact, on an average day, SLCPD receives about 630 calls for service, approximately 175 of which result in a report.
The new database also feeds the alerts function of (no longer in service), a free online service where the public may create a user account and set up alerts within a specified radius of an address. This feature and the new calls-for-service webpage, said Burbank, are just two new ways the Department is increasing transparency and communication with the community it serves.
“This will empower the public and enable them to participate more fully in making the city safer,” said Burbank, “for the Point at which we barricade ourselves inside our homes in the face of criminal activity is when we allow criminals to thrive.”
Contact: Reporters seeking comment should contact the Public Information Officer at 801.799.NEWS (6397).