Elgin residents will soon have a central, user-friendly website to access local crime and police investigation data.
The site is the police department’s latest effort at increasing transparency and accountability, as citizens and members of the city council have put a spotlight on local policing with an eye toward many of the reforms being called for at a national level.
Police Chief Ana Lalley discussed the new website at her monthly community meeting on Facebook this week. The website, which will debut in October, will contain information about the department’s use of force, internal investigations, shots-fired calls and all the city’s crime stats.
It will also keep residents informed about the work the department is doing with the six citizens’ advisory boards that have been established to give officers more direct input and interaction within the neighborhoods they patrol.
“It’s really been a good opportunity for us to maybe do some things differently and maybe not,” Lalley said. “Now is a good opportunity for our community members to see us as people. We are not robots. We have personalities.”
Lalley said the website will be a streamlined, one-stop-shopping portal of all the department’s data — something the department has never offered in such a user-friendly fashion.
One of the data points citizens will see on the site will be ongoing investigations about shots-fired calls. Those instances evoke a relatively large number of questions from citizens, including in the Facebook chat during Lalley’s presentation.
She said there have been 46 shots-fired calls this year.
“We continue to work to solve those cases,” Lalley said. “We’ve made several arrests. It really does take a lot of effort