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RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — Do community resources align with community needs based on the types of calls for service coming to 911 centers? This question will be answered through a new study and seven-city partnership to analyze 911 call data and develop recommendations for improving responses by law enforcement and other first responder agencies.

To help understand and improve the responses to calls for service (CFS), the City of Durham invited RTI International, a nonprofit research institute, to partner with cities in North and South Carolina to analyze their 911 CFS data and help develop recommendations for improving the response of law enforcement to these calls as well as other first responder agencies. Participating cities in this new study include Durham, Raleigh, Cary, Burlington, Greensboro, Winston-Salem and Rock Hill.

There is an urgent and critical need to evaluate these responses to make sure law enforcement responses and scope of duties are appropriately aligned with community needs,” said Dr. Kevin Strom, project lead and Director of RTI’s Center for Policing Research and Investigative Science.

This work, supported by Arnold Ventures, will identify the types of CFS where the law enforcement role could be modified to help ensure each community’s resources are appropriately aligned with their specific needs based on their call data.

I am incredibly grateful that RTI and our fellow cities not only supported Durham’s vision, but also accepted our invitation to embark upon this challenging work in a collaborative, research and data-informed way,” said City of Durham Mayor Steve Schewel. To learn that Arnold Ventures will also support this work, allowing for additional access to experts, is even more reason to be encouraged about the path forward to better match community resources with community needs.”

The systematic analysis of 911 CFS data will be used to assess the nature of demand for law enforcement and other first responder resources, how law enforcement resources are deployed to respond to this demand and whether the responses are appropriately aligned with community needs.

Our goal is to provide high-quality services that meet all of the different needs of our community. It’s an exciting opportunity to partner with national experts and local peers to evaluate our calls for emergency assistance, and gain insight to help us continue to improve,” said City of Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin. Data-informed conversations are critical to success and taking part in this project will be beneficial to the City of Raleigh.”

Goals of the 18-month project are threefold and will help these seven cities understand their community needs through an analysis of CFS data; identify alternative response interventions that fit community needs and align with available city resources; and support the implementation and rapid evaluation of alternative response interventions.

Once completed, the results of this study and its standardized approach in analyzing 911 CFS data could then be used by other cities throughout the United States and abroad to help them determine if their resource allocations match what is needed in their specific communities.

For more information on this new project, visit www​.rti​.org/​p​o​l​icing.

About RTI International
RTI International is an independent, nonprofit research institute dedicated to improving the human condition. Clients rely on us to answer questions that demand an objective and multidisciplinary approach — one that integrates expertise across the social and laboratory sciences, engineering and international development. We believe in the promise of science, and we are inspired every day to deliver on that promise for the good of people, communities and businesses around the world. For more information, visit www​.rti​.org.

About Arnold Ventures
Arnold Ventures is a philanthropy dedicated to tackling some of the most pressing problems in the United States. Founded by Laura and John Arnold in 2010, Arnold Ventures’ core mission is to improve lives by investing in evidence-based solutions that maximize opportunity and minimize injustice.