The New Orleans Police Department has a disturbing history of corruption, racism, and abuse. As part of Thoughtworks’ Racial Injustice and Incarceration campaign, we partnered with the Invisible Institute to use our technical expertise to bring actionable, meaningful change to police monitoring in the community.
We wanted to help the Invisible Institute solve data and technology issues faced by police monitoring groups. Through the Invisible Institute, we connected with the New Orleans Office of the Independent Police Monitor (OIPM). The OIPM provides crucial education to the community, helps citizens file complaints against police officers, and analyzes complaint data, all while fighting political and technological hurdles.
Their legacy processes and systems made it impossible to analyse their report data; to draw out any patterns, behaviour assessments or data points in a meaningful way. This had to be done manually, which wasn’t scalable and made it challenging to represent the genuine feelings of the community members who have suffered police misconduct. OIPM wanted to translate those feelings into real data that could drive reform.
We worked together to build a new case management system to help OIPM focus on police accountability, reducing the amount of time spent compiling a case, searching for officers, and attaching allegations to those officers. The new system also provides auditing and exporting capabilities, and stores data in a way that makes it easy to run reports and analysis, enabling them to focus on officers’ patterns of behaviour to present to regulatory and political bodies, instead of relying on anecdotal data and examples.