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by Peter Moskos

March 21, 2014

Reducing 911 calls

A reduction in 911 calls in unheard of. The number of people calling for police goes up and up (because the system would have one believe there is an unlimited supply of cops). Right now about half your police department is dedicated to being ready to answer your call for service. And being ready ("in service") too often means sitting around doing nothing.

That's why this, coming out of Nashville, is interesting:
But in the struggle to run an efficient 911 system, Nashville officials have seen recent success. A 13-month streak of declining 911 calls allowed 2013 to wrap with the fewest since 2009. That helped responders spend more time on real emergencies.
But if calls are simply diverted to 311, the actual gains may be minimal. The public needs a way to reach and talk to an actual police officer (and not just the police agency in general).

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