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NYPD Predictive Policing Documents

Documents related to the NYPD’s predictive policing trials and programs.

Last Updated: August 6, 2021
Published: July 12, 2019

The Bren­nan Center filed a Free­dom of Inform­a­tion Law (“FOIL”) request for inform­a­tion about how the New York Police Depart­ment (“NYPD”) has tested, purchased, and imple­men­ted predict­ive poli­cing soft­ware on June 14, 2016. The docu­ments below were ulti­mately obtained over the course of two years of litig­a­tion on that original request.

These docu­ments reveal details about the NYPD’s test of three types of commer­cial predict­ive poli­cing soft­ware and shed light on the in-house algorithms the NYPD ulti­mately employed to inform deploy­ment decisions. The diffi­cult process to get access to this inform­a­tion, and the piece­meal produc­tion we ulti­mately received, also reveal the NYPD’s quest to keep the public in the dark about this tech­no­logy. The timeline avail­able here arranges the docu­ments the Bren­nan Center obtained in chro­no­lo­gical order and summar­izes their contents.

From these docu­ments, the Bren­nan Center learned that, between Janu­ary 2015 and June 2016, NYPD commu­nic­ated extens­ively with three differ­ent commer­cial predict­ive poli­cing providers, Pred­Pol, Azavea, and Keystats. Between April and June 2016, the compan­ies parti­cip­ated in a “Predict­ive Poli­cing Pilot Eval­u­ation,” a compar­at­ive trial run that tested the accur­acy of their predict­ive soft­ware. After complet­ing the eval­u­ation, however, the NYPD chose instead to develop its own predict­ive poli­cing algorithm.

The chart avail­able here outlines what we know about the compan­ies. It provides the vari­ables each company used, public inform­a­tion about the compan­ies’ clients, and relev­ant docu­ments acquired as a result of the FOIL litig­a­tion. The vari­ables were sent by each company to the NYPD as answers to a prelim­in­ary ques­tion­naire before the trial eval­u­ation. NYPD asked each company to list the data it needed from NYPD and any other data it planned to use. The client lists were compiled using company websites and public news stor­ies.