03/24/2011

Chicago preps dramatic change in 911 dispatching

The city, which gets 5.7 million calls per year, is shifting many 911 calls to 311 and the Internet

By Fran Spielman and Frank Main
Chicago Sun-Times

CHICAGO — The Daley administration is preparing to launch a dramatic change in 911 dispatching.

It's aimed at freeing up police officers to respond to the most serious crimes by diverting lower priority calls to 311 or convincing crime victims to file their reports online.

Already, several hundred people have reported non-emergency incidents online on the Chicago Police Department's website. In the coming weeks, victims who call 911 about thefts of property under $500 or lost property will be encouraged to file their reports online. Those who refuse will be urged to call 311 to file their reports by phone.

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