Transparency helps bring trust and understanding to a community. In February, the Roseville Police Department launched a new transparency and data sharing initiative on the City of Roseville website.
The project includes information of interest to the community, including traffic stops, use of force data, crime statistics and predatory offender information, as well as policy documents. Information is available at www.cityofroseville.com/police/transparency.The transparency and data sharing initiative grew from the positive community reaction to the department’s release of Roseville’s 2017 traffic stop statistics nearly a year ago.In 2017, the Roseville Police Department began collecting driver information for all traffic stops. The collection effort is part of a voluntary, countywide initiative to increase transparency and provide more context about traffic stops. The data collected includes the perceived race and gender of the driver, whether the driver was searched, whether the vehicle was searched, the reason for the stop and whether a warning or citation was issued. Roseville Police focus traffic enforcement on drivers who are most likely to cause a crash - speeding, not stopping for red lights or stop signs, driving while distracted or other behaviors that jeopardize the safety of others. Stopping cars with minor equipment violations is not priority for the Roseville Police Department.The Use of Force Summary provides information about when Roseville officers use force and how use of force is counted in Roseville. The city defines use of force as the application of physical techniques or tactics or chemical agents or weapons to gain compliance.Although Minnesota does not require police departments to collect or disseminate use of force data, for years Roseville has been gathering data and using the information to examine its practices. Tracking how, when, where and why officers use force is an invaluable tool in working towards the department’s goal of minimizing force incidents and injuries while maximizing officer effectiveness in situations where force is unavoidable.Reviews include supervisory review of all uses of force incidences, along with a quarterly review during sergeant meetings to look for trends in the department and address any concerns. The Police Department recently updated its Policy Manual, including the Use of Force Policy. The revised Use of Force Policy emphasizes the importance of de-escalation and protecting the sanctity of every life.Police Chief Rick Mathwig is working to increase transparency within the Roseville Police Department. “We need the public’s consent to effectively deliver public safety services to the community we serve,” said Mathwig. “It’s difficult to obtain the public’s help if they don’t know whom the police are helping.”