Northampton Police working to build better relationship with community

Northampton became the 55th department in the U.S. to launch an “Open Data Website”

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The Northampton Police Department launched a new “Open Data Website,” where residents can see everything from arrests to employee demographics.

“The police are our employees, so the employer has a right to know what’s going on,” said Janette Muzima of Northampton. “The more transparency the better and I think we do have a right to know everything that goes on.”

In an effort to be more transparent, the department also publically documents every time an officer uses force. “If they have to use excessive force, at least the citizens of Northampton are going to know when it took place, and why. It fosters better justification,” said Simeon Paresky, who was visiting Northampton.

There’s also another important piece of information that’s posted: the number of overdoses. Police logs show there have been 35 overdoses so far this year; more than double the 16 by the same time last year.

Residents said they want dealers arrested. Desiree Carrillo, who visits Northampton, said, “They don’t know what our family members are going through when people are actually overdosing. It hurts our community.”

Northampton Police became the 55th department in the U.S. to launch an “Open Data Website.”