Open Policing Project

MicroProject Overview

The Stanford Open Policing Project is an initiative by the Stanford Computational Journalism Lab to collect, analyze, and provide access to traffic stop data from across the United States. According to the Open Policing Project, "on a typical day in the United States, police officers make more than 50,000 traffic stops". The Open Policing Project aims to provide a comprehensive view of interactions between police officers and the public, focusing on the data collected during traffic stops. It's a crucial resource for understanding issues related to racial profiling, law enforcement tactics, and social justice.

The data are collected from state-level and local-level police departments across the country. As of 2023, project has already collected more than 200 million records from 42 state police departments and growing. The data are collected in a standardized format, and the project provides a data dictionary to explain the meaning of each column in the data.

This MicroProject will only be looking at the data from the state of Illinois and explore one possible racial disparity among traffic stops in Champaign-Urbana.

First Time Doing a MicroProject?

Each MicroProject starts with a notebook that we provide to you to get started! You will need to configure a git repository to connect to our `microprojects` remote where we release the starter notebook.

Fetch the Initial Files

In your terminal, navigate to your GitHub repository and merge the initial files by running the following commands:

git fetch microprojects
git merge microprojects/microproject-open-policing-project --allow-unrelated-histories -m "Merging initial files"

Complete the Notebook

If the commands above were successful, you have merged in the initial files to start on the MicroProject.

  • Find the new microproject-open-policing-project folder.
  • Open microproject-open-policing-project.ipynb and complete the MicroProject!

Commit and Grade Your Notebook

Once you have finished your notebook, you must use the built-in GitHub Action to preform automated grading of your MicroProject notebook! You will need to commit your work and then manually run the GitHub Action.

Commit Your Work

To commit your notebook, run the standard git commands in your terminal:

git add -u
git commit -m "microproject completed"
git push

Grade Your Notebook

To grade your notebook, you will need to visit your GitHub repository in your browser.

  • Visit your GitHub repository in your browser
  • Click on the "Actions" tab
  • Under "Workflows", find the workflow for this microproject
  • Click the "Run Workflow" in the blue box, and then the green "Run Workflow"
  • After about 10 seconds, you should see a new job that has started running
    • You can click on the job to watch it run in real-time
    • It will take ~1 minute to run and grade
  • Once the running is complete, the autograding summary will be available!