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Cambridge police launch their Justice Dashboard, exploring unequal treatment by showing trends

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A police reporting station in Cambridge’s Central Square on May 19, 2021. (Photo: Marc Levy)

Cambridge Day, September 2023

The long-awaited Procedural Justice Dashboard, a major Cambridge police department project since 2019, has arrived after repeated delays from staff shortages and technological barriers. Unveiled Aug. 15, the dashboard appears to have kept many – but not all – of its promises to shed light on police interactions with the public and examine them for racial bias. At first glance, the dashboard shows some racial disparities in arrests and traffic stops.

For example, dashboard data covering the period starting in 2010 show that arrests of black people far exceed their share of the Cambridge population, and the gap between arrests of black people and white people has increased in the past two years though overall arrest numbers dropped sharply.  As for traffic stops, over the past five years, the percentages of black and Hispanic drivers who received a criminal citation was more than twice the percentage of white drivers who were criminally cited.

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