POWELL, Ohio (WCMH) – The 2020 murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer led to calls for police reform.
Now, the Biden administration is trying to get a better understanding of how various departments and agencies operate, and to do that, it turned to data collection experts from all parts of the country, including central Ohio.
A White House report on data collection in law enforcement recently arrived on President Biden’s desk. In part, it focuses on barriers that keep certain information from making it to the national incident-based reporting system.
That is where Greg Davda comes in.
“Basically, why can’t we get better data from the local law enforcement agencies or, if we have the data, how can we make better use of the data we already have?” he said.
Davda’s family runs Powell-based Optimum Technology. His father founded the solutions-based software provider in 1984.
Last March, Davda, along with vendors from all parts of the country, accepted an invitation to visit the White House to join a think tank. Some of their recommendations are outlined in the report about data regarding policing.
One of those recommendations is that states should mandate and support detailed data collection and sharing about police activities, and that federal agencies should collaborate to simplify, standardize, and modernize the collection of law enforcement data.
“So, there’s a call for service, an officer went out, there wasn’t an arrest or a criminal incident, but maybe there were de-escalation techniques used to relax everyone on scene,” Davda said.
This is part of the president’s executive order on policing and enhancing the public’s trust, signed on May 25, 2022. The order marked two years since George Floyd’s death.
“A lot of that information isn’t being represented in the data, so you don’t quite know, are we only seeing bad things happen or are there other things police and local law enforcement may be doing better,” Davda said.
Davda’s firm also designed the Ohio Law Enforcement Gateway, a collection of tools that allows Ohio law enforcement agencies to share criminal justice data efficiently and securely.
The web-based platform connects more than 24,000 officers, prosecutors and court employees to various records management tools like the sexual offender and domestic violence registries, and violent offender database.