Toronto Police, Ryerson announce Open Data contest for students

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 Project teams will  create solutions to public safety issues

Toronto Police -The Way Forward Initiative

A Public Safety Open Data Competition for Ryerson University students was announced by Chief Mark Saundersa of the Toronto Police Services and Ryerson University Interim Provost and Vice President Academic Dr. Christopher Evans on Tuesday July 19.

The competition will see members of the Toronto Police work with innovation project teams within Ryerson’s zone network, including the Social Ventures Zone, using the Service’s open data to create solutions to public safety issues.  The results will become a cornerstone for the Service’s Open Data Strategy going forward.

This initiative is the first in Canada where a police service has jointly hosted an open data competition with an educational institution to create such outcomes.

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The Toronto Police Service’s Open Data Strategy is being created as part of several recommendations including, specifically, Recommendation #17 in the Transformational Task Force Interim Report.

Modern Technology

The recommendation speaks to an investment in modern technology to offer the public open access to information and tools that communities can use to improve neighbourhood safety. This includes, among other things, a public safety data portal to encourage the creation and use of open data for public safety in Toronto. The portal is intended to improve the understanding of policing, improve transparency, and enhance confidence.

This initiative has been developed through ongoing collaboration between the TPS and the Ryerson Department of Geography & Environmental Studies. For several years, Ryerson Geographic Analysis students have had course work focused on actionable projects with the TPS as well as student internship positions providing practical work experience. There have been numerous innovative reports and mapping tools developed as a result of this collaboration.

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To learn more about this recommendation, and the Task Force in general, visit The Way Forward website. – CINEWS

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