- Follow this link: http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/icpsrweb/NACJD/studies/36164
- Scroll down to “Datasets”
- We suggest downloading the “Excel/TSV” dataset. This is an easy format and the .zip contains the Codebook as well.
- Unzip the file and open what should be the only folder — “DS0001”.
- (Optional) If you’d like, run R file to simplify the dataset down to fewer variables and/or to Pennsylvania only or Allegheny County only.
- Starting on Page 9 of the .pdf (36164-0001-Codebook.pdf) are descriptions of the variables. Starting on Page 311 is the survey that they sent to police departments in order to collect the information. Helps clarify some of the variables.
- Go for it! Open the file in Excel, R, Python, Tableau, Google Charts, or some other cool thing I forgot to list and start looking around. Talk with people around you. There are some questions listed below to get you started.
- This step is important: Share what you’re doing! Join this hackpad page to share any interesting variables, or your findings, or to add questions that can help guide others analysis.
- For any of these questions — are there trends between departments that do or do not utilize certain methods, or policies?
- How many officers per jurisdiction population do different departments have?
- Which departments allow officers to work outside the department in a law-enforcement capacity [PAY_OUT & PAY_RST_NO variables]?
- Which departments have community-oriented policing strategies [COM_MIS variable]?
- Which departments have cameras on officers [TECH_TYP_VPAT variable]?
- What departments are analyzing their data [TECH_WHO_STAFF & TECH_WHO_EXTR variables], and who is analyzing it [subsequent variables]
- Which departments are opening summary data to the public [TECH_WEB_JUR through TECH_WEB_OTHR]?
- How many dogs per police officer, or per population, in each department [in version of survey]?
PS. If you want some tips on using Tableau to visualize data, this tutorial from a former SUDSer can get you started. The video starts with pulling data from a public API, which we’re not doing here, you’ll have to bring the data in manually, but after that follow along.
Author: Vrishali Shah
Assistant Director of Digital Strategy