U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Cambridge Police Launches New Procedural Justice Dashboard

Screenshot from Procedural Justice Dashboard
Image of CPD Arrest and Summons Data

The Cambridge Police Department today announced the launch of a new publicly-accessible arrest, summons, citation, and use of force Procedural Justice Dashboard. Now available at www.cambridgepolice.org/dashboard and on the Cambridge Police Transparency Portal, this comprehensive dashboard is designed to better serve the community by increasing the department’s transparency and providing the public with deeper insights into Cambridge Police officer interactions with the public.  

In its initial phase, the dashboard includes the following information and features that will allow users to: 

  • Review enhanced data on CPD-related arrests, citations, and summons.
  • Filter arrest, citation, and summons data by race, ethnicity, gender, neighborhood, and time. 
  • Evaluate data beginning in 2010 through the present month. 
  • Review the department’s latest annual report on use-of-force. 
  • Read an overview from Commissioner Christine Elow. 
  • Read detailed explanations associated with each data set. 
  • Download CPD guidelines, policies, and reports associated with each data set. 
  • Review the terms and definitions featured in the dashboard. 
  • Share feedback to improve the dashboard.

Overview of the Data
Preliminary analysis from the new dashboard indicates that arrests have dramatically declined since 2010. For example, there were 648 arrests in 2022 compared to 1,450 arrests in 2010. Meanwhile, the number of summons – in which criminal charges are sought against a suspect in a crime by either a summons to appear at court for a hearing or arraignment or an arrest warranthas generally increased since data was first captured in 2010 via the department’s records management system. In fact, there have been more summons issued by the department than arrests made every year since 2019, which reflects the department’s recognition that arrests may not always serve as the best option, particularly with minor offenses that allow greater discretion (e.g. shoplifting). 

While arrests have declined since 2010, a disproportionate rate of arrests is reflected for persons of color. The arrest figures include arrest warrants, which make up a large portion of the total number of arrests. An arrest warrant is an order issued by an authorized court official, directed to officers authorized to serve criminal process, commanding them to arrest the person named or described therein and to bring such person before the court to answer to a charge of crime. While the results featured in the dashboard do not address or indicate if officers are engaging in discriminatory behavior, the Cambridge Police are committed to continuing their efforts to understand the roots of any disparities and addressing them wherever possible.

Unlike arrests, there is not as disproportionate of a rate for persons of color and citations -- an official notice for a violation of laws relating to automobile and road use. For example, the percentage of people who are black and issued citations in 2022 was 18.3%. That percentage is even lower thus far in 2023 at 16.5%. Similar to a summons, officers have discretion with citations as charges can be civil or criminal depending on the seriousness of the offense.

Partnership with the Center for Policing Equity
In support of the Procedural Justice Dashboard rollout, the Cambridge Police have partnered with the Center for Policing Equity (CPE), a nationally recognized non-profit organization that gathers and analyzes data on behaviors within public safety systems and uses that data to help communities achieve safer policing outcomes. Through its smart data collection and analysis, CPE will help facilitate a community-centered process to identify potential drivers and risks for policing inequities and look to reimagine the delivery of the City of Cambridge’s public safety services. They will help the department identify or address any potential vulnerabilities or disparities from the data featured in the dashboard and develop harm reduction strategies.

They will also play a valuable role in engaging community stakeholders in any change-making processes and help provide further context for the data featured on the dashboard. The City of Cambridge and the Cambridge Police Department will not incur any costs associated with this strategic relationship agreement.

“The investment made into and launch of the Procedural Justice Dashboard is one of the many important strategic priorities we have recently made to drive real, long-lasting change to policing in Cambridge,” said Police Commissioner Christine Elow. “This is another step in our continued journey as a premier 21st century police department.”

Elow continued, “There are very few departments that are providing this level of detail to their community. Working in partnership with the Public Safety and City Information Technology teams, we have spent several years developing this important system that builds on the legacy data sets we have already made available through the city’s Open Data Portal. While there is an element of vulnerability publishing these data sets, it was critically important as we seek to establish or enhance the trust our residents have in their police department. In addition to transparency, we recognize there is a need for continuous introspection, training, policy development, accountability, and oversight. That work will only continue as we seek to minimize disparities and refine the most equitable police practices.”

“I want to thank the Police Department, Information Technology team, and many others in the City who have played pivotal roles in making this important data easily accessible to our community,” said City Manager Yi-An Huang. “The launch of this dashboard is another step the department is taking in its journey to be more transparent and accountable, while giving residents important tools to evaluate how the department is treating those they interact with. While there is a lot more work to do, delivering this information is critical in order to continue to move forward and build trust."

"Centering community is an important step in bringing the community and police together in partnership,” said Dr. Yolanda N. Smith, Senior Implementation Strategist for the Center for Policing Equity. “It is through this collaboration that agencies can best protect and serve those they are responsible for keeping safe. Since working with Commissioner Elow, the City of Cambridge, and the Cambridge Police Department, Commissioner Elow has demonstrated her commitment to equity and improving policing outcomes for the Cambridge community by leading the charge of 21st Century Policing through transparency and accountability."

The dashboard will initially be updated automatically every quarter on the 15th of each month, pulling in the previous three months of vetted data. The long-term goal is for the dashboard to evolve into a more dynamic and robust website with additional features, data, and information.

The Cambridge Police will be hosting an online webinar on Wednesday, August 30 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. to learn more about the dashboard, why it was developed, and how to use it. Members of the community can register for the webinar by visiting https://camb.ma/cpddashboardzoommeeting.

Feedback can be submitted by any users by selecting the “Feedback” tab on the top of the dashboard. 



Page was posted on 8/15/2023 8:52 AM
Page was last modified on 9/25/2023 12:45 PM
Contact Us

How can we help?

Please provide as much detail below as possible so City staff can respond to your inquiry:

As a governmental entity, the Massachusetts Public Records Law applies to records made or received by the City. Any information received through use of this site is subject to the same provisions as information provided on paper.

Read our complete privacy statement

Service Requests

Enter a service request via SeeClickFix for things like missed trash pickups, potholes, etc., click here