As of January 19, 2011 we had not received a response from the Superintendent of Police,  as she had promised in November 2010. In addition the Police Board informed us that a representative from the OEMC would be present at their January meeting to address questions related to their performance. We decided that we must attend the January Police Board meeting.

 Three members of CANA spoke. Summarized versions of their comments are presented below:

 Statement and Questions from Serethea Reid

One of our objectives is to assess the variability in response times across the city of Chicago. Our first hand experiences make it difficult to accept that all of the city of Chicago has this problem to the same degree as my community, Austin. We are trying to understand why.

 We’ve been asking these questions for four months. We have yet to get a satisfactory answer. There is one exception, Deputy Chief Escalante. He has been responsive and informative. However he cannot address the source of these issues.

 An evaluation of this issue requires information from two independent organizations: Police Department and the OEMC. Each organization has told us that the other is responsible for the problem.

 We are pleased that the Police Board has brought a representative from the OEMC to this meeting to address the issues. We seek information from OEMC so that we can begin to determine where the problem is and how together we can fix it.

 The OEMC must gather information to determine the effectiveness of its services. There must be metrics and performance measures in place. There must be data on the volume and type of work that they perform.

 How does the OEMC measure its performance? What data does the OEMC collect? The Police Department must also need to review this data in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the OEMC.

 We want to know what statistics are retained and available.

 For a given day, a given beat, for each priority level, is there a report for:

  • Total number of calls received
  • Total number of calls dispatched
  • Number and percentage of calls dispatched within 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 or more minutes.

 We want to know whether there is continuing education related to sensitivity training for 911 operators. Many citizens have complained about the handling of their calls. They have been told:

  • Your call is not that important
  • You’re calling again?
  • We’ve already heard about this

 With respect to the Police Department, as of today, we have not received a response as promised in November 2010 from the General Counsel of the Superintendent of Police..

 Statement from Ron Reid

I want to make it clear why we are here at the Police Board. We want a better community. It starts with safe and orderly streets.

 We know that there is plenty of blame to go around. We all need to be better neighbors and better citizens. W need better police response time. We need data from the OEMC.

 We know there are disparities in police response time for the North Side, the South Side and the West Side. We want data on response times.

 Statement from Marvin Marshall

We want to frame our questions in the appropriate way. Could the OEMC provide us with the form that they would like  us to use in a request for information.

 A representative from the OEMC attempted to answer the questions posed. He stated that OEMC would not release response time information for fear that this information would be used by criminals. He also stated that our previous requests for information were found to be unduly burdensome.

 We then asked him whether a request for statistics , for other than response times, for one day would be unduly burdensome. He stated it would not.

 Members of the Police Board commended us on our presentation and encouraged us to keep up our work. One member said that this was the work that the Police Board should undertake. Another said that he had been wondering the same things. And another said he lived in Lincoln Park and these questions warranted answers.

 It is quite clear that we will have to continue to press for answers.

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