Last November I wrote about the the NICJR report, which argued that 49% of the 911 calls going to SPD could be handled by an alternative response. The problem with the NICJR report was that it was after-the-fact analysis; it didn’t look at whether 911 dispatchers, given the information available at the time of a call, to them, could accurately predict the kind of response called for in a specific situation. SPD told the Seattle City Council that it wanted to do that analysis before it rolled out alternative response dispatching. And that process has dragged out. But SPD has finally released its “phase one” results.
This slide deck presents a good overview of the basic structure of its analysis. Across call types received by the 911 call center, it looks at the the most severe outcome of the call (as a proxy for whether a police response is required), and the likelihood of a severe outcome. Based upon that, it categorizes the calls into a matrix.
They have ranked the call types into four tiers, with a level of response for each:
If you’re interested, the full list of call types with ranking of severity and likelihood is here.
From here, the hard work begins: trying to build better tools for 911 dispatchers to correctly diagnose and categorize a call so that the appropriate response can be sent out.
SPD has published a technical brief summarizing the “phase 1” work that led to the above model, and the “phase 2” work still to come.
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