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BPD unveils OIS tracking dashboard to increase transparency and community trust

According to Bakersfield Police Sgt. Robert Pair, the website is one part of the department's greater effort to improve relations between the community and local law enforcement.
Posted: 7:31 PM, Mar 23, 2023
Updated: 2023-03-23 22:31:51-04
Bakersfield Police Department building

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Improving transparency with the public has been one of the goals of the Bakersfield Police Department even before entering into a stipulated judgement with the California Department of Justice in 2021. Even at that time, BPD was already working on a website to provide the public with use-of-force and officer-involved shooting data.

That website, the Bakersfield Police Department's Officer-Involved Shooting/Use-of-Force Dashboard, went live to the public a few months ago.

"It is a data portal. It is not the end all be all of transparency, however this is one facet of it," said BPD Public Information Officer Sergeant Robert Pair. "It contains use-of-force data ranging from 2017 to 2022."

The data on the dashboard is managed by the BPD Quality Assurance Unit, and it breaks down use-of-force incidents to study data by location, day of the week, patrol zone, and ethnicity. Officer involved shootings over the years are also recorded, and the public can see how many OIS incidents have happened, as well as the circumstances leading to each one.

robert pair
Sergeant Robert Pair, Bakersfield Police Department

According to Pair, there is still work to be done, and the website is just one step in moving forward and being transparent as a department, but in addition to transparency, the site also helps BPD identify and keep track of trends.

"What it does for us, allows us to track potential issues, see why things are happening the way they're happening," said Pair. "If you want to know, for example, from 2017 to 2022, what percent of police contact end in an officer-involved shooting."

BPD's Community Advisory Panel has also reviewed the website, which panel member Tiffany Sagbohan says BPD has been open about.

"The advisory committee did get the link to the use-of-force website when we first met. They (BPD) were really open with us about that being one of the things they wanted to do to implement transparency with the community," said Sagbohan.

Sagbohan says she believes things have to start somewhere and the website is a good step, but the committee is still providing feedback and working to improve transparency.

tiffany sagbohan
Bakersfield Police Community Advisory Panel member Tiffany Sagbohan

"Are these things helping? What do we see in our community that needs to be improved?" said Sagbohan. "Those are things we take back to ur advisory community and communicate with BPD."

For community members who think the website still doesn't provide enough transparency on the department's part, Pair says the site is a work in progress.

"Ultimately, we want to provide accurate information to our community. We want to connect with our community. We want to be trusted by our community, and we will continue to move forward with efforts to do that," said Pair. "What I can say is that this is one step in a transparency effort. It is not the whole transparency effort, so we will continue to make improvements."

According to Pair, BPD intends to add more reform efforts to the transparency initiative, including policy updates and actual investigative reports for officer-involved shooting incidents. Pair says the department intends to update the information on the website quarterly.


According to the Bakersfield Police Department's Use-of-Force Dashboard, from 2017, there were 31 officer-involved shootings.

Of those 31 incidents, nearly 68 percent of the calls were dispatched. The remaining 32 percent were initiated by a police officer, also called self-initiated.

88 percent of suspects involved in an OIS with a Bakersfield police officer were armed themselves, according to the website. 68 percent of those armed suspects had a firearm and 13 percent had a knife.

10 suspects involved in these shootings fired at officers. 13 did not.