In September 2011, the Washington, DC police department began encrypting all of their radio communications[1] [2] [3] , including dispatching. @dcfireems started filtering their account around the same time, saying

"Social media is for parties. We ain't givin' parties." - Lon Walls[1]

The Fire/EMS reversed their decision[1], fortunately - I learned about my apartment fire (which destroyed a room of a rowhouse a year ago) via the DCFireEMS twitter account.

Luckily, the @DCPoliceDept twitter account is still active and public. This site uses an archive[1] of it (presumably public-domain) for as much as the Twitter API will offer. For those into tinkering, tweets.json

The encryption is currently supported by Chief of Police Cathy Lanier, who is otherwise popular in the district. Perhaps the strongest evidence against the new total encryption is the fact that police have had encrypted private channels already[1] for sensitive information.

At the very least, DC needs better transparency for its police force to those who need to know, like local media and ethics watchdogs. Can this be resolved while also ensuring safety & flexibility for law enforcement?

The search box on the right accepts both standard queries and regular expressions. If your query has a matching group, like the query (\d+)lbs?, the matches will be made into a chart on the right side of the page, showing number of occurrences for each match.

This has flaws: the police often extend tweets by prefixing (1/2) (2/2) to write >140 characters. The tweets also don't represent all police data - only the events which were mentioned on twitter. This site was last generated 8/30/2012 and reaches back to 4/22/2012.

Copy this page's URL at any time to share a search query.

examples: \s(NW|NE|SW|SE)\b (quadrants) (\d+)\s?lbs? (weights) ((fe)?male) Robbery (Gun|Knife|Fear) (\w+) shirt
read more about this /data @DCPoliceDept /by what is this?