The Cambridge Police Department & 25 Other Law Enforcement Agencies Across the U.S. Accept Challenge to Release Open Data on Hate Crimes

Cambridge Police Department is one of two agencies in New England to participate

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., January 18, 2018 – The Police Foundation this week announced that the Cambridge Police Department and 25 other agencies across the country have accepted an unprecedented national law enforcement challenge to release open data on hate and bias-motivated crime as the Police Foundation releases a best practice guide to support the effort.

According to a June 2017 Bureau of Justice Statistics report, "U.S. residents experienced an average of 250,000 hate crime victimizations each year from 2004 to 2015 and the majority of these were not reported to police." Although hate crimes are harmful and serious offenses, they are often not well documented and underreporting is a serious challenge. By releasing this information to the public in the form of open data, agencies can help narrow the reporting gap and call more attention to the problem in an effort to better prevent these incidents in the future. 

Since 2013, the Cambridge Police Department has published Special Reports on Hate Crimes within its Annual Crime Report. Those reports include statistics and analysis of reported incidents. The average number of hate crimes reported over the last ten years is 13.

Cambridge Police Commissioner Branville Bard, Jr. said, “The Cambridge Police Department and Police Foundation believe that releasing open data is beneficial to the community and law enforcement. It can serve as a foundation for two-way engagement and problem-solving between law enforcement and the community, improve understanding of policing and inform discussions about public safety challenges.”

Cambridge City Manager Louis A. DePasquale said, “Cambridge’s Open Data Ordinance, which formalized the City’s Open Data Program and established our Open Data Review Board, was passed in 2015. The Cambridge Police Department’s crash, citation, and crime datasets have been important to the community. I am pleased they will be adding the City’s hate and bias-motivated crimes data to our catalog, which contains over 200 publicly available datasets.”

The following agencies were the first to commit to accepting the challenge:

1.     Beloit, WI 
2.     Bloomington, IN (Released Data Prior to Challenge) 
3.     Cambridge, MA (Released Data Prior to Challenge through Its Annual Crime Reports)
4.     Denver, CO 
5.     Fairfax, VA 
6.     Fayetteville, AR 
7.     Ferndale, MI 
8.     Kinston, NC 
9.     Las Cruces, NM 
10.    Lincoln, NE (Released Data Prior to Challenge) 
11.    Louisville, KY (Released Data Prior to Challenge) 
12.    Montgomery County, MD 
13.    Norman, OK 
14.    Norristown, PA 
15.    Northampton, MA 
16.    Oak Creek, WI 
17.    Orlando, FL 
18.    Owensboro, KY 
19.    Palos Park, IL 
20.    Portland, OR 
21.    Prescott Valley, AZ 
22.    Salt Lake City, Utah 
23.    Seattle, WA 
24.    St. John, IN 
25.    Tacoma, WA 
26.    Tucson, AZ

As these 26 leading agencies responded to the Police Foundation’s challenge to release open hate crime data, the Police Foundation has published a new guide: Releasing Open Data on Hate Crimes: A Best Practices Guide for Law Enforcement Agencies as a resource for law enforcement agencies. For more information on open data and policing, please visit the Police Data Initiative.

2017 open hate crime data in Cambridge will be released upon the completion of the 2017 annual crime report, which is expected to be published later this winter. 

Review past annual reports, which contain special reports on Hate Crimes in Cambridge, and other open data sets for Cambridge public safety within the hyperlinks. 


The Cambridge Police Department is committed to the enforcement of laws and preservation of order that protect the rights and property of every person within the City of Cambridge. Our mission is to provide the highest quality of police service and to impact crime, and its associated elements, through the utilization of new and proven crime prevention strategies and problem-solving partnerships with our community.  For more information, follow
@CambridgePolice on Twitter, or access the department’s Facebook page at

Page was posted on 1/18/2018 1:10 PM
Page was last modified on 5/8/2018 8:34 PM
Provide Feedback

Got feedback?

Please provide your feedback below: