With aldermen bracing for the political fallout, Chicago is implementing a dramatic change in 911 dispatch to free the equivalent of 44 police officers a day to respond to the most serious crimes.
As of Sunday, police officers are no longer responding in person to reports of a vehicle theft, garage burglary, or 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.”6th Ward Ald. Roderick Sawyer was quoted in this article about the policy change:
Instead, those 911 calls are being transferred to the Chicago Police Department’s Alternate Response Section, staffed by officers on light duty. Police reports will be taken over the phone. If necessary, evidence technicians will be assigned later.
Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th) said he’s willing to “take the heat” if it means freeing police officers to respond to more serious crimes.Your thoughts?
“I’d rather them be upset than not responding to a domestic battery or burglary or some other crime going on in real time,” Sawyer said.
“We respond to a lot more calls than other cities do. Is there gonna be some push-back? Initially, there will be. But, this seems to be a reasonable response to the volume of calls we get to free officers who sometimes go on calls that turn out to be frivolous.”