Daniel Rivero says the goal of his new database Badge Watch is to create transparency within seconds between community members and police.
“It’s just good information,” said Rivero, co-founder of Badge Watch. “It’s transparency that’s literally in the palm of your hands.”
The database has a list of 200 Miami Police Department officers who have had complaints filed against them. People can look up officers by their names or their badge numbers and it will tell a short disciplinary history related to that officer.
Rivero, a journalist, created the site showing when each officer was hired and the number of complaints against them.
“How many use of force incidents have they had?” Rivero said. “How many citizen complaints have they had? How many driving complaints?”
Rivero started working on the database, which will soon be an app, in June as protests and calls for social justice rang out across the country.
“At a time where there’s distrust between some sectors of the community and the police department, making sure that things are as transparent as possible, it seemed to me just an obvious thing to do as a public service,” he said.
Rodney Jacobs, Jr. is the assistant director of the Civilian Investigative Panel, which looks into claims of police misconduct within the Miami Police Department.
He says the CIP gets between 250 to 300 complaints a year.
“There’s been a large thirst and outcry for more information, knowledge and data associated with policing,” Jacobs said.
A spokesperson for Miami Police Department didn’t comment directly on Badge Watch but did say that this is a very important topic and that the Chief of Police Jorge Colina will be commenting on it on Thursday.
Rivero says Badge Watch will be launched as an app within the next few weeks.