Dearborn Police have demonstrated a pattern of failure to provide information when requested, including refusing to respond to Freedom of Information Act requests. We demand enforceable transparency practices that support public engagement with our city's policing. We demand Dearborn City Officials hold Dearborn Police accountable to be transparent in all aspects of their operations and impact on our communities in the following ways:
Louis Brandeis once said “Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants”. Providing transparent public access to Dearborn Police Department records establishes a level of commitment to earning the trust of Dearborn’s communities. While the records received and released by Accountability for Dearborn have been invaluable in establishing patterns of racialized policing, these records need to be released on an ongoing basis. Based on recommendations from the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement, we recommend the ongoing release of the following records:
Calls to service disaggregated by call type
All traffic stops conducted including reason for the stop, and stop outcomes, disaggregated by stopping officer, and subject’s, sex, age, race, and ethnicity
Citations issued disaggregated by issuing officer, citation type, and subject sex, age, race, and ethnicity
Arrests issued disaggregated by arresting officer, violation type, and subject sex, age, race, and ethnicity
Dearborn Police use of force reports
Injuries to and deaths of persons in Dearborn Police custody
All complaints against the Police Department and officers and their dispositions
All criminal proceedings regarding Dearborn Police officers, including domestic violence
Motions to suppress granted based on officer’s constitutional violation(s)
All disciplinary and non-punitive action taken against police officers
All awards and commendations issued by the police department
Police department traffic collisions, both preventable and non-preventable
A full report of training Dearborn police officers are required to undergo
Civil lawsuits and administrative claims against the police department
Vehicle pursuits engaged in by the Dearborn police department
Police Union contract with Dearborn Police Department
In order to supply these data, Dearborn Police will need to adjust their data collection procedures regarding their own activities. First, it would require the establishment and implementation of an ethnicity category for citations and arrests. This category will allow tracking of trends regarding individuals who are identified as ethnically Arab American, and Hispanic/Latinx. Second, it would require the tracking and reporting of all traffic stops, including those that do not end in citations and/or arrests.
The release of these be conducted in an accessible manner that allows civilians without formal data analysis training to review and gain an understanding of trends and implications. Other municipalities have established transparency portals to support this type of ongoing data release. These models include:
Dallas Police Department’s Transparency Portal. This transparency portal provides exceptional responsive data visualizations of arrests and citations that allow visitors to the portal to quickly compare variables and identify trends in policing patterns.
City of Westland Police Department Transparency Portal. This transparency portal provides static reporting of data, including arrests, citations, and use of force that allows visitors to quickly develop an understanding of policing in Westland.
City of Minneapolis Complaints Against Police Dashboard. This transparency portal provides insight into all complaints against the police department, both aggregated and disaggregated. This allows visitors to quickly identify patterns of concerns regarding police officer conduct.
City of Chicago Data Dashboards. These dashboards provide information about the status of complaints against the Chicago Police Department, compliance with consent decree, and use of force. These dashboards allow visitors to quickly review Use of Force incidents, and how these incidents change over time.
In addition to ongoing release of documentation and reports, the Dearborn Police operations need to become more transparent. This includes making all negotiations between Dearborn Police Department and any organized police officer labor unions public.