CopScore Allows You To Rate The Police, But Could It Do More Harm Than Good?

CopScore is a new social network looking to revolutionize the way that police officers are held accountable. The network would allow users to rate police officer performance, provided they have a badge number.

A link for the service was shared this week on Hacker News, where many liked the idea but saw potential problems, namely in the issue of pulling a fair ratio of positive reviews into the site.

The logic is that most people who post a review and get a badge number usually do so with the intention of filing a complaint, and so it's likely that CopScore will devolve into an anti-police website.

Explaining the reason for the badge number, the site's creator sheds some light.

"I put the badge number there because I did not want people posting fake reviews," wrote Arion Hardison. "I wanted only people that had actual interaction with the Cop to be able to vote."

Hardison also points out that the site, in its infancy, has more positive reviews right now than negatives. While that's hardly enough to suggest the trend would continue amid a widespread roll-out, it is encouraging.

Still in early beta, here are the two main offerings of CopScore.

Firstly, there is the "Add a new officer" feature, which allows you to select both the name of the police department from a drop-down menu and a designation of officer under the "title" menu.

Secondly, the site has a "Register Officer" feature that allows you to enter the name and police badge number. From there, you can add a star rating, an image, and a review of the officer experience.

As you can see in the above image, Officer Grant Morrison gets 3 out of 5 stars. He shot and killed an unarmed suspect nine months ago.

You can click a news story from CopScore that explains more on the situation. There is also disturbing YouTube footage showing the incident unfold, and a quote from Morrison himself in the grand jury testimony.

"I knew in that moment, which later was determined to be untrue, but I knew in that moment that he was reaching for a gun. I couldn't take that risk.... I wanted to see my son grow up."
As you can see, CopScore can be an invaluable source of information on police officers and offer the public a venue to keep a watch on law enforcement officers, which might be particularly appealing to some in light of the Eric Garner death.

It's a long way from ready, but in time, do you think CopScore will be an asset or attract too many negative reviews to be considered a reliable source?