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Supporting Safe PLAY Through Neighborhood Data

USC Price Center for Social Innovation


We propose expanding the Neighborhood Data for Social Change Criminal Justice Data Initiative to Santa Monica and Long Beach, to promote deeper understanding of—and engagement with—crime data region-wide. This project will collect, clean and publish public safety data from law enforcement agencies; host free, publicly accessible monthly trainings; conduct community listening sessions; and co-produce data stories in partnership with CBOs. This project will help all Angelenos enjoy safe neighborhoods and safe places to play by 2050.

Please describe the mission of your organization.

The mission of the USC Sol Price Center for Social Innovation is to develop ideas and illuminate strategies to improve the quality of life for people in low-income, urban communities.

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • Westside
  • South Bay
  • County of Los Angeles

In what stage of innovation is this project?

Expand existing program

If you are submitting a collaborative proposal, please describe the specific role of partner organizations in the project.

The Price Center has partnered with a wide variety of law enforcement agencies and community-based organizations through NDSC, since launching the platform in 2017. We have worked in close collaboration with LAPD, the Community Coalition in South Los Angeles, the Urban Peace Institute, and the GRYD Foundation (Gang Reduction and Youth Development), among others.

In addition, the NDSC Steering Committee represents a multitude of organizations in Los Angeles, including the Southeast Los Angeles (SELA) Collaborative, Coalition for Responsible Community Development, South Los Angeles Transit-Empowerment Zone (SLATE-Z), and the Housing Authority of LA.

What is the need you’re responding to?

LA residents lack access to most neighborhood-level public safety data. The inability to access data and lack of knowledge around criminal justice issues that impact communities have critical implications for evidence-based policymaking, community engagement, and constructive dialogue among law enforcement, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and independent civic actors. In turn, this impacts the safety, accessibility, and vibrancy of LA neighborhoods.

Additionally, individuals also often lack trust in law enforcement systems designed to facilitate public safety and engender confidence through supporting strong communities. This lack of trust has emerged through a long and complex history between marginalized communities and law enforcement, but has been exacerbated by the lack of access to data, and absence of resulting collaborative dialogue.

To bridge these divides, all stakeholders must have access to—and an understanding of—current and relevant public safety data.

Why is this project important to the work of your organization?

The Price Center has a proven track record of democratizing neighborhood-level data using the NDSC platform, which is a free, publicly available online resource for civic actors in LA County to learn about their neighborhoods. NDSC illuminates the trends, challenges, and opportunities facing LA County neighborhoods by curating and disseminating neighborhood-level (down to the census tract) data across ten policy areas.

It also utilizes narrative storytelling as a tool for social change. For example, we have provided a powerful vehicle for awareness and advocacy through conducting listening sessions to help residents conceptualize how crime data is relevant for their own communities.

Given its expertise in neighborhood data and relationships with community stakeholders, the Price Center is uniquely positioned to effectively implement this project focused on expanding LA County residents’ access to and understanding of public safety trends within the region.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?

Direct impact
Indirect impact

Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.

By expanding NDSC’s public safety data, this project will support vibrant and safe communities regionally. NDSC recently added arrest and stop rate data for the City of LA, which provides rich data for advocates, law enforcement agencies, and policy makers. Such data is needed for a wider set of geographies. By incorporating additional datasets, and increasing data access through trainings, listening sessions, and community outreach, NDSC will facilitate increased knowledge of crime rates, positive perceptions of neighborhood safety, and support healthier communities.

Further, by providing support to CBOs focused on park access and neighborhood safety, this project will help organizations better execute their missions.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.

The Price Center will measure project success through tracking the following:

Data Aggregation: In collaboration with our partners, the Price Center will identify law enforcement agencies in two LA County jurisdictions to obtain, clean, and upload public safety data by census tract. Data may include arrests and call for services, among other datasets.

Community Engagement: NDSC has received over 330,000 page visits since launching in 2017; we will continue to track website views. NDSC will scale up activities to include criminal justice work, in order to reach 450,000 Angelenos over the next year. Working with community stakeholders and law enforcement agencies, we will conduct a series of community listening sessions to ensure residents’ voices inform the proposed data efforts.

Trainings: We will host 12 free community trainings specific to accessing and understanding datasets related to crime and public safety. Content will be promoted on the NDSC platform, in a monthly newsletter, and on the NDSC Twitter handle, which shares training schedules, new datasets, and new data stories. We will also track the number of individuals and organizations who attend these trainings.

Data Stories: We will publish two data stories focused on trends, challenges, and opportunities related to crime and public safety, co-produced with law enforcement agencies and CBOs that work in the broader landscape. Data stories are published in partnership with NDSC media partner, KCETLink.

Which of the play metrics will your submission impact?​

  • Easy access to a safe park
  • Crime rates
  • Perceived neighborhood safety

Are there any other LA2050 goal categories that your proposal will impact?

  • LA is the healthiest place to LIVE

Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?

  • Access to the LA2050 community
  • Host public events or gatherings
  • Communications support