Data paves the way for alternative 911 efforts

Cities across the United States have, for years now, been testing alternative emergency response programs that help residents in need without involving armed police officers. These efforts hinge on, when appropriate, rerouting 911 calls from police to other time-sensitive care providers, such as mental-health crisis teams. The programs reflect evolving priorities around policing and public safety—and also represent opportunities to make the most of limited local budgets and police resources.


Now, the team at the Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab has released a new guide, based on three years of research in more than 30 jurisdictions, that both outlines key metrics to guide other cities' efforts and spotlights insights into how data can help strengthen ambitious new services. 

911 Data
Photo courtesy City of New Bedford