OGDEN, Utah (ABC4) – Information about what Ogden police officers do in the field is now more readily available to the public. The Ogden City Police Department Use of Force Report is an online dashboard that the public can use, and it shows all incidents in which officers used force during a call. The Ogden chapter of the NAACP worked with the police department during the development of this new tool and both organizations are excited for how it will improve transparency.
“We like to be completely transparent,” Lt. Will Farr with the police department told ABC4. “It’s been something that’s been requested and that we’ve been working on.”
The police department has been working with the Ogden NAACP to increase transparency. The new dashboard was developed over the last eight months, and the Ogden NAACP provided feedback along the way.
“It’s not an us and them. It’s an us. We. Working together. And so, as a part of that working together, we started looking at national recommendations that were coming out,” Betty Sawyer stated. Sawyer is the president of the NAACP Ogden chapter. She explained that in the wake of George Floyd’s death in 2020, the NAACP and Ogden PD sat down to discuss use of force practices used within the department.
“There wasn’t a lot of information that was known (at that time) and so it’s very difficult to address a system if you’re not fully aware of what’s going on in that system.”
A solution for the lack of information available to the public was soon being developed. Now, with the click of a mouse, anyone can log onto the use of force report dashboard. According to the Ogden Police Department: “It will display all use of force incidents involving officers from the Ogden Police Department.”
The description of the dashboard continues: “It may be filtered by the type of force used and the race of the suspect involved. The dashboard was developed by an analyst in the Ogden Area Tactical Analysis Center using an Esri tool. In addition to the force that was used by officers, we will be detailing incidents where officers were attacked, and force was used on them.”
The department points out an additional type of data: “We will also highlight instances wherein our officers have done tremendous work in de-escalating potentially violent or deadly encounters through the utilization of their tools and training.”
Lt. Will Farr told ABC4 he is excited to have the dashboard for a few reasons. “With it, we can figure out ways that we can increase our policing and become better at what we do, but it also helps us understand the areas where we may need improvement.”
Betty Sawyer said the NAACP is also excited to see what will come from the dashboard. “We’re hoping to see changes based on the data and not just on what perceptions are. It’s something that will enhance that transparency.” She added: “And then do some planning to develop strategies to make sure that the outcomes are positive on both ends. We don’t want anyone shot (officer or suspect).”
Both organizations expressed how happy are to have the relationship they do with one another and how excited they are for this new tool.