Canadian Security Magazine

Toronto Police Service launches open data project

By Canadian Security   

News Public Sector policing transparency

The Toronto Police Service has announced a competition that will form a cornerstone for the force’s Open Data Strategy. The Public Safety Open Data Competition for students of Ryerson University will have members of the Toronto Police Service work with innovation project teams from Ryerson using the Service's open data to create solutions to public safety issues.

TPS believes this initiative to be the first in Canada where a police service has jointly hosted an open data competition with an educational institution to create such outcomes.

The Toronto Police Service’s Open Data Strategy is being created as part of several recommendations including, specifically, Recommendation #17 in the Transformational Task Force Interim Report.

The recommendation speaks to an investment in modern technology to offer the public open access to information and tools that communities can use to improve neighbourhood safety. This includes, among other things, a public safety data portal to encourage the creation and use of open data for public safety in Toronto. The portal is intended to improve the understanding of policing, improve transparency, and enhance confidence.

This initiative has been developed through ongoing collaboration between the TPS and the Ryerson Department of Geography and Environmental Studies. For several years, Ryerson Geographic Analysis students have had course work focused on actionable projects with the TPS as well as student internship positions providing practical work experience. There have been numerous innovative reports and mapping tools developed as a result of this collaboration.


To learn more about this recommendation, and the Task Force in general, visit The Way Forward website.

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