Mayor Weinberger Commends BPD Release of Use of Force Data through Its Transparency Portal

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 25, 2017
Contact:  Katie Vane
                  802.734.0617
 

Mayor Weinberger Commends BPD Release of Use of Force Data through Its Transparency Portal

 

Burlington, VT – On January 24, 2017, the Burlington Police Department added comprehensive use of force data and analysis to its Transparency Portal, offering the public six years’ worth of police data for review. Members of the public can access the portal at https://www.burlingtonvt.gov/Police/Data. An accompanying slide show presented to the Police Commission on January 24, 2017 will be added to the Portal by the end of this week.

Mayor Miro Weinberger released the following statement commending the BPD release of use of force data through its Transparency Portal:

“The City of Burlington is firmly committed to the principle of building public trust and legitimacy for its policing through transparency and accountability. To this end, the Burlington Police Department has posted to its Transparency Portal the most comprehensive use of force data and analysis report in the department’s history.

“I am encouraged that the report documents declining use of force events even as police calls and arrests are rising, suggesting that our efforts to evolve our use of force policies over the past year are having a positive impact.  The data suggests, however, that people of color are more likely to be encountered in the types of calls where officers believe it is prudent to point their firearms, such as search warrants and burglaries. This finding requires the type of deep and thorough investigation called for by any such disparate impact of policing by race.  The Burlington Police are committed to this work. In light of this, I am generally encouraged that the department’s long-standing efforts to work against racial bias appear to be reflected in its other use of force metrics. I am thankful for the work of our skilled, committed officers who keep this community safe and are implementing critical reforms even as the community faces new pressures and threats to public safety.

“We welcome the public’s independent review and analysis of the newly released data and look forward to continuing to engage the Police Commission and the community about our public safety efforts."

Burlington Police Department Chief Brandon del Pozo added:

“In describing his vision for a fairly-policed city when I first arrived in Burlington, Mayor Miro Weinberger called for a police department that would be a leader in transparency and accountability, even in difficult times and on difficult issues. The release of use of force numbers and our analysis are another step in meeting his goal of a police department where the curtain is pulled back for everyday citizens to better understand how they are policed and why. We will continue to use transparency to strive for and demonstrate our commitments to fairness and effectiveness in policing Burlington.”

 

# # #

Press Release Date: 
01/25/2017
City Department: 
Mayor's Office