Using Data to Enhance Transformative Public Safety Reforms

November 25, 2021

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FUSE Corps

The City of Brooklyn Center is committed to reshaping the city’s public safety and justice systems, utilizing data to drive decisions about policy, programs, and investments in public safety. The City Manager’s Office will partner with a FUSE Corps Executive Fellow for one year to serve as a quasi-Chief Data Officer for this public safety information, effectively harnessing this data in a data storytelling model. 

This fellowship project begins on October 25, 2021, and ends on October 23, 2022. The fellowship begins with a multi-day virtual orientation the week of October 25, 2021. The selected Executive Fellow will begin their first day of providing services to the host agency on November 1, 2021.


During the summer of 2020, the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and too many other Black Americans sparked a national dialogue around the failings of the US criminal justice system. People nationwide joined together to protest police violence, emphatically demanding local governments across the county to examine police operations and to examine new approaches to public safety and justice. In the City of Brooklyn Center, a small, working-class city just outside of Minneapolis, this activism and civic engagement came to a head this spring. During the midst of the trial of Derek Chauvin, one of the four officers charged in George Floyd’s death, Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, was fatally shot during a traffic stop in the suburb, sparking successive days of protest.

In the following weeks, leaders in Brooklyn Center have responded in varying ways to reassure the community they are committed to holding police officers accountable and are dedicated to reshaping its public safety systems. Namely, in May, the City Council passed the Daunte Wright and Kobe Dimock-Heisler Community Safety and Violence Prevention Resolution, named for Wright and Kobe Dimock-Heisler, a 21-year-old man with autism and mental illness who was fatally shot by officers in August 2019. The resolution puts the city on track to make significant changes to its policing practices, creating diverse approaches to improve overall public safety. This will include establishing a new division of unarmed civilian employees to handle non-moving traffic violations and mental health crises and forming a Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention to oversee community health and public safety efforts. By prioritizing this diversity of responses, instead of solely relying on armed law enforcement, the City looks to improve overall public safety, address the root causes of many issues, promote racial justice, protect vulnerable community members, and allocate public resources more efficiently.

Since the passage of the resolution, City leaders have conducted listening sessions with the community and established an Implementation Committee to make recommendations for appropriate changes to public safety ordinances, practices, or policies. The Implementation Committee is now tasked with reviewing traffic enforcement data and assessing similar civilian-based public safety programs around the county. With this context in mind, the City of Brooklyn Center will partner with FUSE Corps to host an Executive Fellow for one year to serve as a quasi-Chief Data Officer for this public safety information. The Executive Fellow will make recommendations on how to best collect, analyze, and transparently share this data, ultimately building a model, equipped with data storytelling features, that ensures the Implementation Committee can make data-driven and equity-based decisions about policy, programs, and investments in public safety. Harnessing this data will facilitate transformative change in Brooklyn Center’s public safety systems, creating a safer, healthier, more just, and more thriving community. 


The following provides a general overview of the proposed fellowship project. This project summary and the potential deliverables that follow will be collaboratively revisited by the host agency, the Executive Fellow, and FUSE staff during the first few months of the fellowship, after which a revised scope of work will be developed and agreed upon by the FUSE Executive Fellow and the host agency.

Starting in November 2021, the FUSE Executive Fellow will work quickly to build deep relationships with a wide range of critical stakeholders, including City staff in the Mayor’s Office, City Manager’s Office, and Police Department; those involved in the Community Safety and Violence Prevention Implementation Committee, City Council members, and community-based organizations at the forefront of public safety reform in Brooklyn Center. The Executive Fellow will utilize this initial listening tour to become acquainted with current data sets, data collection systems, and data analysis and storytelling efforts, specifically focusing on data from 9/11 calls, traffic stops, and non-violent arrest records. The Executive Fellow will conduct research and familiarize themselves with comparable public safety data analytics programs in similarly sized jurisdictions nationally, assessing best practices and applicability locally. The Executive Fellow will produce a situational analysis report on these current data pools, highlighting gaps and identifying possible new data sources based on the granular information desired by various stakeholders. 

The Executive Fellow will then make recommendations on how to best collect, analyze and transparently share this public safety data. The Executive Fellow will design and iterate a model for capturing and presenting this information. This will include exploring open-source data modeling and visualization software, determining which data sets to incorporate, what predictive analyses the model should offer, and algorithm integrations around equity and the socioeconomic determinants of crime (economic stability and education level, neighborhood and physical environment, food security, physical and mental health, etc.). The Executive Fellow will then input easily accessible data into the system to determine the City’s baseline across Key Performance Indicators. These KPIs should be designed in concert with the Implementation Committee.

In the next phase, the Executive Fellow will begin to track data trends and ensure the long-term deployment and usage of the model. The Executive Fellow will train staff on the model and establish processes to ensure the model will be continuously improved. The Executive Fellow will also develop a data storytelling framework for the model, guiding how departments present the information on the public interface and ensuring staff can utilize and transform their data to create effective policy, programs, and budgets. The framework will include probing questions, a template, and direction on communicating insights, combining data, visuals, infographics, and a narrative, to various audiences. The work of the Executive Fellow will also accumulate in an annual evaluation of the model and baseline data. This report-out will include an extensive explanation of the methodology used in the build-out of the system, review of the baseline data, short-term case studies on policy or program changes, and projections for impact and improvements in the public safety system. This evaluation report should be easily accessible online, detailing best practices and implications with this type of data modeling, supporting information exchange with peer cities, and the state conversation around police reform.

By October 2022, the Executive Fellow will have overseen the following:

  • Conduct a thorough review of the current landscape Conduct a situational analysis of the City’s use of public safety data; identify data needs of various workgroups on the Implementation Committee; understand community view of potential data; map gaps in data and determine missing data sources; pinpoint internal/external sources or partnerships to gather more granular information; survey best practices in other jurisdictions, and private-sector companies nationwide for ways to innovate
  • Form recommendations and design data model – Design information system model that incorporates data in real-time from multiple sources, contains predictive analysis, and can integrate information around equity and the socioeconomic determinants of crime; the model is easily accessible across teams and can be manipulated based on the specific uses of each group; determine how the platform can be viewed both internally, for quick visualization of information, and externally on a public-facing website/interface
  • Design city-wide data storytelling framework – Form a template to guide teams, including probing questions and direction on how to communicate insights, combining data, visuals, and a narrative, for different audiences (the public, City Council, other internal departments, and external non-governmental partners); ensure template enables staff to make compelling arguments for data-driven decisions around policy and programming
  • Engage stakeholders and catalyze buy-in – Facilitate communication, information exchange, and cross-functional work; solicit feedback from major stakeholders on the system and framework; identify barriers to implementing any recommendations; incorporate input from stakeholders to build consensus and ensure that the system is utilized effectively; establish a data exchange agreement and process that allows the City to tap into the wealth of potential online data related to public safety trends in their community
  • Support implementation and review progress – Input initial data sets in the system, set KPIs and begin to track progress; train staff to use model and storytelling framework; establish processes to ensure the model will be continuously improved, garner community feedback on the publicly available data and if additional context or information is needed; publish a ‘one-year’ report, explaining the design process, reviewing initial data trends, collecting case studies, and developing best practices to share across jurisdictions


  • Executive Sponsor – Mayor Mike Elliott, City of Brooklyn Center
  • Project Supervisor – Reggie Edwards, City Manager, City of Brooklyn Center
  • Troy Gilchrist, City Attorney, City of Brooklyn Center


  • Approximately 15 years of professional experience in a relevant field, particularly with a strong background in data collection, analysis, and systems building
  • Experience with information technology architecture implementation, data visualization and management platforms, and UX/UI design preferred
  • Ability to translate data sets into resources and reports targeted at various audiences, crafting data narratives to support a business case
  • Political astuteness, understanding the functionality of City, county, and state in criminal justice or public safety reform, and political sensitiveness around navigating each entity
  • Self-starter with the ability to lead with minimal direction and oversight
  • Superior critical thinking, analytical and research skills with the keen ability to synthesize both qualitative and quantitative information
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills, easily able to make a research-based business and policy case
  • Level-headed and strategic decision-maker who is effective at mapping out program and policy impacts
  • Personable with proven ability to create and deliver powerful presentations; comfortable with public speaking
  • A self-motivated and goal-oriented leader who can also be an independent worker
  • Cross-cultural agility, relating to a wide variety of diverse audiences
  • Strong emotional intelligence and empathy
  • Strong cross-team collaborator
  • Capacity to sustain progress within potentially ambiguous environments
  • Ability to synthesize complex information into clear and concise recommendations
  • Understands the need for solutions to support all people in a community regardless of race, religion, gender, immigration status, or ethnicity

FUSE Corps is an equal opportunity employer with a core value of incorporating diverse perspectives into our work at every level. We encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply for this position.

FUSE Corps is an equal opportunity employer with a core value of incorporating diverse perspectives into our work at every level. We encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply for this position.