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Mike Diekhoff
Chief of Police
Bloomington Police Department
diekhofm@bloomington.in.gov
812-339-4477
 

Bloomington One of First Communities to Release Open Data On Hate and Bias Crime

Bloomington, Ind. — The Bloomington Police Department (BPD) will join more than 50 police agencies that have chosen to participate in an unprecedented national law enforcement movement to release open data on hate and bias crime. The Police Foundation’s initiative marks an important step by police departments to promote transparency and collaboration with the communities they serve and increase awareness about hate crime. Although hate crime information submitted by some law enforcement agencies is published by the federal government annually, by participating in this initiative, BPD is committing to making the data more accessible to the community and in a more timely manner.

“The Bloomington Police Department is pleased to be participating in this important data project along with other progressive police agencies that realize the importance of making information readily available to the communities they serve. Knowledge creates awareness that can lead to substantive change,” said BPD Chief Michael Diekhoff.

“This is another of our many efforts - our Open Data Portal, implementation of the 21st Century Policing Initiative and improved Human Rights Commission hate crime reporting options among them - that are making Bloomington more transparent and responsive to our residents who experience the ugliness of a hate crime,” commented Mayor John Hamilton.

Hate crimes are often underreported and consequently not well documented. The City of Bloomington strongly encourages people to report hate crimes. Reports may be made to the Bloomington Police Department by calling 911 or to the Bloomington Human Rights Commission by calling 812-349-3429 or emailing human.rights@bloomington.in.gov. People may also report incidents via the online form on the City’s website at bloomington.in.gov/departments/legal/human-rights.

By releasing hate and bias information to the public in the form of open data, agencies like BPD can help narrow the reporting gap, call more attention to the problem in an effort to better prevent these incidents, and set a foundation for two-way engagement and problem-solving between law enforcement and the community. More accurate reporting will ultimately lead to a better understanding of hate crime in the United States, which in turn will enable informed decision-making around preventing and addressing this type of offense.

For a list of agencies participating in this initiative, please visit the Police Foundation website.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) was a key partner to the Police Foundation in this initiative through active outreach to agencies across the country.

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