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Chicago police no longer responding to all 911 calls
February 7, 2013 at 7:36 AM

Chicago police no longer responding to all 911 calls

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To free up more officers to deal with the most serious crimes, 911 dispatchers will no longer send officers to attend calls deemed less pressing.

 

Chicago police are no longer responding in person to 911 calls reporting vehicle theft, garage burglary or simple assault in a change aimed at freeing up officers to deal with more serious crimes.

According to a report in the Chicago Sun-Times, the change came into effect on Sunday and also covers crime where the victim is "safe, secure and not in need of medical attention" and the offender is "not on the scene and not expected to return immediately."

Chicago authorities are hoping the change frees up more officers to attend to the most serious crimes, such as serious assaults and murders.

Instead of sending officers, 911 dispatchers have been told to transfer the calls to the Chicago Police Department’s Alternate Response Section, which is staffed by officers on light duty.

In 2012, the Alternate Response Section dealt with 74,000 reports. Victims of crime had the choice of filing a report over the phone or requesting that an officer attend in person when one was available. That number of reports is expected to double, but the choice of asking for an officer to attend will no longer be available.

The change is expected to free up the equivalent of 44 officers a day.

Dispatchers have reportedly been told to transfer calls if "the offender is gone, not expected to 'return immediately' and an officer is not needed for a prompt investigation; an officer on the scene would 'not result in an immediate arrest'; and the victim is safe, secure and not in need of medical attention."

The Sun-Times goes on to quote Chicago Deputy Chief-of-Patrol Steve Georgas, who said police forces throughout the United States are looking for ways to become more efficient.

"This is just a little piece that we think is going to help us in keeping cops up and free for patrol work. I don’t think we're looking for huge gains. It's probably only going to equate to 40 to 45 officers a watch," he said.

Georgas added that he did not think the change will be difficult for residents to get used to.

"It's a traumatic thing being the victim of a crime. This will be a little more convenient for them as well," he said. "They're still getting police service from a sworn police officer. But it's over the phone, and it's only in certain situations. Those officers are trained in what to ask. If certain things come up, they'll be able to transfer that back over to dispatch, and we'll immediately send an officer out."

However, some Chicago aldermen suggested the changes will prove difficult to accept for crime victims.

"I can understand if it's [to report] somebody spray-painted my trash can. But people want to see an officer when it gets up to a certain level of crime. They're setting the bar pretty high for police not to respond," said Alderman Scott Waguespack.

"When you're talking about someone's garage being broken into and you've had three or four neighbors with the same thing, people have an expectation of having an officer on location to assess the situation," he said. "If no officer shows up, they're going to assume it's going to keep happening. They'll feel this is scaling back even more. There'll be a lot of people angry."

source

Replies

  • Woodbabe
    February 7, 2013 at 7:48 AM

    So they don't want you to have guns to protect yourself and your property, and they cops aren't going to come if called...

  • lga1965
    by lga1965
    February 7, 2013 at 7:53 AM

     This article did not say that they won't respond to ALL 911 calls. The title of this thread is skewed and inaccurate.

    One example of a minor incident was "a garage being broken into". I can understand that. My garage was broken into and my lawnmower was stolen. I didn't call 911! What the heck good would that do? LOL. I would only be venting , wasting their time and you can bet my lawnmower would never be found. People call 911 for stupid reasons all the time. The police do need to concentrate on serious 911 calls. But they have a huge responsibility to decide which are the serious crimes.

    I see a trend  (actually a fad)....Chicago bashing. Too many posts bashing Chicago.

  • romalove
    February 7, 2013 at 7:53 AM

    Note to self:  if in Chicago and need the police, call in a claim that I've been shot.

  • survivorinohio
    February 7, 2013 at 7:59 AM

    I think simple assauly can turn felonious in one swing.  Assault should not be on the list.

  • candlegal
    February 7, 2013 at 8:03 AM

    That seems to be about right.

    Quoting Woodbabe:

    So they don't want you to have guns to protect yourself and your property, and they cops aren't going to come if called...


  • rfurlongg
    February 7, 2013 at 8:10 AM
    Some of that makes sense. In our area 911 will not send police out because of a garage burglary, or car theft, or if things are stolen from your lawn or yard. Basically, they do not respond to something that occurred previously. For those crimes we call 311 and an officer will respond within 72hrs. If there is potential of imminent danger, 911 will dispatch an officer. I questions Chicagos choice to not dispatch am officer for simple assault. Simple assault can quickly become aggravated.
  • lizzielouaf
    February 7, 2013 at 8:35 AM
    An example of simple assault, in my state, would be if my neighbor comes onto my property and says "the next time I see you I'm gonna beat the crap out of you" then leaves. I'm in no immediate danger but I have been threatened and am fearful of the next time I see him.
  • PinkButterfly66
    February 7, 2013 at 8:43 AM

    People shouldn't be calling 911 for non-emergencies anyway.  For non-emergencies they should call the police station directly.  

  • UpSheRises
    February 7, 2013 at 8:49 AM

    That almost like Detroit except our police don't necessarily respond to serious crimes either.

    Remember the story a few years ago where someone called to report finding a dead body in an abandoned building? No one showed up so they called the news. The news called the police and it took them an additional 2 days. 3 days that body sat there...

  • UpSheRises
    February 7, 2013 at 8:51 AM

     My MIL is a 911 dispatcher...people call her to ask if she knows the score of high school football games, when thier car is scratched in a parking lot...all kinds of stupid shit.

    On black friday they call 911 when someone "cuts" in line. FFS!


    Quoting PinkButterfly66:

    People shouldn't be calling 911 for non-emergencies anyway.  For non-emergencies they should call the police station directly.  


     

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