COVID-19 Technical Assistance

Health care worker poses in front of emergency vehicle

The Crime Lab partnered with the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and New York Police Department (NYPD) to develop data-based projections of the potential spread of COVID-19 among officers and the possible impact on policing activities.


When the COVID-19 pandemic first broke out in March 2020, little was known about the possible impact on first responders.


Using our data-sharing agreements with the CPD and the NYPD, our data scientists prepared projections of the possible impact of COVID-19 on police officers and overall public safety in two of America’s largest cities.


Our data-based projections allowed the CPD and the NYPD to make informed decisions in planning for and mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on their staff and officers

Project overview

In the earliest days of COVID-19, little was known about how the disease was spreading and whether it would lead to a global pandemic. Even as public health agencies began developing projections for the potential impact on general populations, public safety agencies needed more evidence to direct their response to the crisis. How could they develop policies to maintain essential first responder and patrol activities while also keeping officers safe from the disease? Shortly after the U.S. entered lockdown, our teams began to identify the specialized risk factors that police officers face to model the potential spread of COVID-19 among departments. These early projections alerted our partners in Chicago and New York to the pandemic’s potential impact and likely length, enabling both departments to protect better the well-being of their officers and the safety of their communities as public health conditions rapidly evolved.

Year Started



Project Leads

Martin Barron

Martin Barron

Senior Director of Data and Analysis