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Tech Toolkit: APIs & Datasets

Below are a few resources we hope you will take advantage of during the ABA JusticeHack Chicago hackathon. We've included information about our featured APIs and a few publicly available data sets that may help your project and team. Good Luck!


Featured APIs

In collaboration with the Chicago Police Department, we are featuring two APIs for ABA JusticeHack Chicago. One for community generated suspicious activity and crime reports and one for public arrest data generally, from two different in-progress projects, containing overlapping information. Your experimentation and feedback is welcome. Beware that you will find things that don’t work or make sense. Just share back documentation of whatever you find!

For questions, contact info@abajusticehack.org. Tech mentors will also be on site at the hackathon and available to answer questions and provide guidance. 

Chicago Police Department ClearPath API:

  • A brief description: tip.chicagopolice.org is a community reporting website/web application that allows everyday citizens to report suspicious activities and behaviors that can potentially be criminal or harmful in the community around them (in the City of Chicago). The data submitted in the forms gets sent to the Crime Prevention & Information Center (CPIC).  A GitHub readme page has been made available that explains the ClearPath API, and gives an example application that use the ClearPath API here:

  • GitHub readme page

Alternative API for Public Arrest Data:

  • A brief description: Chicago Police Department's adult arrest Application Programming Interface (API) Pilot Test.  You may access an alternative API to get public arrest data below.

  • Alternative API Portal


Data Sets

We listed below some publicly available data sets that represent collections of data generated by cities, police departments, academic institutions, and tech companies about our daily lives and our interactions with government and law enforcement. These data sets can be used to answer (or at least try to answer) numerous questions about law enforcement and community behaviors and/or sentiment that occupy city governments, advocates, police departments among others. Your are not restricted to using these datasets: feel free to bring your own data to work on! Check out places like Kaggle if you need help finding a dataset. 

Data Sets

  • Miami Dade County Open Data Portal: Datasets include MDC GIS, 311, Corrections, and Public Records Request data.   Developer Resources.

  • Stanford Open Policing Project: the Stanford Open Policing Project is collecting and standardizing data on vehicle and pedestrian stops from law enforcement departments across the country — and they’re making that information freely available. They’ve already gathered 130 million records from 31 state police agencies and have begun collecting data on stops from law enforcement agencies in major cities, as well. Florida is included in this data set.

  • Police Data Initiative: Law enforcement agencies participating in this initiative have released a variety of datasets on issues including 1. Calls for service 2. Community engagement 3. Complaints 4. hate/bias crime 4. Incidents 5. Stops, citations, and arrests 6. Use of force and more. The data is available on a state by state and county by county level. Several counties are included in this data set.

  • Twitter API

  • Yelp’s Academic Dataset

  • New York Times API

  • The Guardian API. Tutorials on how to use The Guardian API (by the Hackathon Org.Committee): Video 1. Video 2. Video 3.