We managed to schedule a meeting with Mr. Aaron Kimble, who is a Senior Management Analyst at the Code Enforcement division of the Atlanta Police Department. We met with Mr. Kimble at his office in downtown Atlanta, located at 818 Pollard Boulevard SW, 3rd Floor, Atlanta, GA 30315. Katie and Mackenzie, our partners from the WCA also joined us for this meeting.
We started off the meeting by briefing Mr. Kimble on what we have done for the past few weeks. He walked us through the process his team follows when assessing code complaints, and the software services they use in this process. All code complaints that come in from officers or citizen calls are fed into Accela, a software program, which then aggregates all that data into a single spreadsheet for further analysis. Mr Kimble mentioned the program is slow, and that it takes 2-3 hours to create a spreadsheet with about 40,000 records. Accela does not produce any visualizations either, which is why Mr. Kimble was particularly impressed with the interactive visuals and maps that we showed him. We showed him some of the crime hot spots in the heat map, and he was not surprised to see that it correlated highly with the areas from which he saw the highest number of code complaints.
When asked about additional features that he would like to see in such a tool, Mr. Kimble mentioned it would be nice to be able to generate a PDF report of the data and the visuals that he could present to the board on a monthly basis. He shared with us a current version of the ‘For Atlanta’ report, which consists of code complaint and budgetary numbers that gets circulated to various offices and is also used to hire additional personnel to their division. While our tool does not support any kind of budgetary analysis, this is something we could add to our list of future enhancements that teams who work on this project in the Fall might be able to implement.
One interesting request that Mr. Kimble asked for was the ability to see how political viewpoints correlated with crime or code violations. Would it be possible to see any relationship between how people have registered to vote and the quality of public safety within their neighborhoods? We were not sure where we could find data about people’s political inclinations, so Katie made a note of it to look it up later.
Finally, we also received an updated spreadsheet of code enforcement data from Mr. Kimble. This is the spreadsheet he uses everyday, and he was kind enough to give us a copy of it on our thumbdrive. The spreadsheet is different from the one Katie was able to download from Accela’s website, as it has additional columns (like duration, officer assigned, neighborhood etc) for each code violation that could allow us to add further filters in our visualizations. Our next task is to prep this data so we can use it along with the other datasets we have.
The final demo is on July 13th, from 6-9:30PM at General Assembly. In preparation for that, our tasks for the coming week are to
- Complete adding all data layers to the map
- Complete geocoding and joining the new code violations dataset and make it usable
- Complete writing the full paper so we can submit it to Bloomberg’s Data for Good Exchange program, whose deadline is July 8th.