OpenOversight is a Seattle Tech Bloc project that aims to improve law enforcement visibility and transparency using public and crowdsourced data. We maintain databases, digital galleries, and profiles of individual law enforcement officers from departments the so called Pacific Northwest that consolidate information including names, birthdates, mentions in news articles, salaries, and photographs.
This project is a response to the lack of transparency and justice in policing. The public should have the right to know which officers are patrolling their neighborhoods and watching their communities. When officers abuse their positions of power, they should be able to be easily identified and held accountable.
It is the first project of its kind in the United States, and was first implemented in Chicago in October 2016. OpenOversight launched in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area in fall 2017 and in New York City in 2018. A Baltimore instance was launched in 2019 at BPDWatch.com. A Portland instance was launched around the same time at cops.photo.
OpenOversight is released as free and open source software so others can launch similar law enforcement accountability projects in their own cities. The software is available for download and collaborative development on GitHub.