New Orleans has been a leader in the open data movement and no area has benefited more from this leadership more than the police data. Now there’s a new data set available – misconduct data.

The city defines this data set as:

This dataset represents complaints of misconduct originated by a citizen either directly to NOPD or through the IPM or by an employee of the Police Department per NOPD Misconduct Complaint Intake and Investigation policy. This dataset includes reports of misconduct including initial reports that may be subject to change through the review process. This dataset reflects the most current status and information of these reports. This dataset is updated nightly.

There’s a ton of data here although it only encompasses 2016 misconduct cases. The new data set identifies each incident by complaint number, shows whether they were citizen or rank (NOPD) initiated, the date of occurrence/receipt/completion, the complaint classification (criminal, administrative, etc), the disposition, and various other categories of information on the complaint, the officer(s) and the complainant.

It’s a rich data source, and as with any rich data source it’ll take some time to figure out what analytic conclusions can be drawn from it. One of the first ideas that came to me was to compare the average length of time spent on complaints based on the final result.

Category Days
Sustained 159.6
Unfounded 153.9
Not Sustained 153.7
Exonerated 144.8
No Further Investigation Merited 91.1
Other 64.9
Withdrawn – Mediation 39.5

As you can see, complaints that are sustained take the longest amount of time though only about two weeks longer than complaints where the officer is exonerated. Of the 234 misconduct complaints that are no longer pending, only 19 (8.1 percent) have been sustained this year.


These data are just a snapshot into how NOPD handles complaints. More time and data are needed before accurate assessment and conclusions can be drawn.