Welcome to PDAP!
Our mission is to help people locate, understand, and share public records about every U.S. police system.
This is an open-source toolkit for publishing and finding data about the criminal legal system. We're a small (and growing) community of transparency-minded people with a wide variety of skills and backgrounds. We're serving people who use police data for their work.
Fill out this form if you're good with data, or persistent enough to do research and investigation online. We'll pair volunteers with data requestors.
We need help from anyone who can use a computer to contribute to our database of Data Sources. Start here.
If you have access to a computer and can use a web browser, you can help label data to train our machine learning algorithm! Even an hour of your time helps. Reach out to [email protected] if you'd like to help.
Find related open-source projects
There are lots of DIY projects like this one and this one which are based on agency-published data. Find an interesting one, and test it out—if it works, you can submit it as a Data Source. You can signal-boost the projects you like, and you may even find one in need of contributors!
If you find data you'd like to collect or preserve, make it happen! Start by reading our approach to scraping, and reach out if you need help or guidance. If your strategy for scraping is successful, we'll share it as a case study to help people working on similar projects. If you can't think of anything to scrape yourself, find local groups working on the criminal legal system. They probably have data woes! Reach out if you need a hand.