Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Chicago 911 Dispatch Changes

Chicago 911 Dispatch Changes
Blog Post by Public Safety Stores
Photo by Ditthavong/AP

The 911 dispatch strategy in the city of Chicago has changed, starting last Sunday (02/03/13).

Some calls, regarding non-criminal complaints and crimes where no one is in immediate danger, may now be routed to desk officers who fill out a police report over the phone.

This change will allow the Chicago Police Department to allocate more of its resources to fight violent crimes.   In the city of Chicago there were 506 murders last year, the highest since 2008.  And January 2013 was the deadliest January since 2002.  The trade-off is that some crimes, like car theft or simple assault, may not receive the in-person response of a Police Officer.

Former Newark, NJ Police Captain John Shane says Chicago is not the first city to adopt this 911 dispatch strategy.  He says a portion of the 911 calls in New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Detroit, Houston and Newark are handled this way.  And Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn says his department also responds to some non-emergency 911 calls by telephone only.

The Chicago PD has made it clear that it will only handle 911 calls by phone when the victim is safe the alleged offender is not on scene and not expected to return.  Nonetheless, some residents are not convinced the strategy is best.

What do you think?  Let us know on the Facebook page of Public Safety Stores.

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