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SXSW 2020

Police Oversight in an Era of Tech & Polarization

Pillar One of Obama’s 2015 Task Force report on 21st Century Policing emphasizes that “building trust and nurturing legitimacy on both sides of the police/citizen divide is the foundational principle underlying the nature of relations between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve.”
This session looks at the role of tech in police oversight. How can we accept feedback from the public in ways that are accessible and address fears of retaliation? To what extent does tech, like body-worn cameras, change the behavior of police officers with the people they serve? What role does tech play in changing culture?
With cases from Austin, TX & Washington, DC, we’ll share evidence-based recommendations for building trust with the public and the officers who serve to protect them.

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  1. Technology is necessary, but doesn’t solve everything. In many cases, cultural changes can have more substantial impacts at a significantly lower cost
  2. Public conversations that emphasize the scientific method and iterative design can help bridge divides between diverse groups of community members.
  3. To support a culture of evidence-based decision making, cities need to invest in new capacities for design, data analysis, and community engagement.



Sara Peralta, Communications Consultant, City of Austin

Meta Information:

  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Government & Politics
  • Level: Intermediate
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