Criminal Justice

Challenge

Nationally, jurisdictions are testing new approaches to address resident service needs that reduce reliance on traditional law enforcement and medical 911 responses and create more equitable outcomes for communities of color and others disproportionately impacted by the criminal justice system. Despite a growing consensus among jurisdictions that alternatives to 911 response are needed, many are struggling to invest in implementation efforts that can sustain the impact of these innovative changes.

 

Approach

The GPL supports jurisdictions seeking to implement alternative approaches to 911 emergency response through the following activities:

Alternative 911 Emergency Response Implementation Cohort: To support implementation, the Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab (GPL) provides technical assistance on alternative 911 emergency response (A-9ER) implementation to local jurisdictions through 12-months of tailored coaching and deliverable-based support, guidance on emerging practices from effective alternative response teams launching nationally, and facilitated learning opportunities with peer cohort governments undergoing similar stages of implementation. The goal of the GPL’s alternative 911 emergency response implementation cohort is to support jurisdictions seeking to improve outcomes for residents by diverting 911 calls to unarmed trained responders equipped to offer connections to supportive services such as mental and behavioral health, crisis, substance use, and other forms of support. Read the Press Release

Alternative 911 Emergency Response Community of Practice: The Alternative 911 Emergency Response Community of Practice is open to governments exploring, planning, and implementing alternative 911 emergency response teams. Designed exclusively for government practitioners, the Community of Practice will provide participants with practical tools and actionable insights emerging from the GPL’s Alternative 911 Emergency Response Implementation Cohort (see above). The Community of Practice will convene monthly, providing a space for participants to engage with government peers on topics such as:

  • Outcome tracking
  • Team training
  • Request for Proposal (RFP) design
  • Community outreach
  • Stakeholder collaboration
  • Identifying and leveraging new funding streams, including the American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA)

Who should sign up for the Community of Practice? These calls will be relevant for leaders in state and local government charged with the design, implementation, or expansion of an alternative 911 emergency response team. Jurisdictions that applied to the GPL’s Alternative 911 Emergency Response Implementation Cohort (see above) but were not invited to participate will automatically be invited to the Community of Practice and do not need to complete an additional registration. An email with next steps will be sent to all interested governments in September. Additional interested governments should register here.

What can I expect during the Community of Practice? These sessions are designed to support:

  • Sharing: Calls will feature presentations highlighting learnings from the five jurisdictions in GPL’s Alternative 911 Emergency Response Implementation Cohort.
  • Learning: Calls will also include discussion facilitated by GPL staff about common opportunities, challenges, and questions jurisdictions are facing in the relevant topic area.
  • Connection: Participating government leaders will make new connections and gain an expanded understanding of what their peers are working on.

Why a Community of Practice? During the GPL’s conversations with government leaders about alternative 911 emergency response work, many expressed interest in understanding how their peers were approaching the implementation and expansion of alternative response teams. Based on this input, the GPL is launching a Community of Practice in September 2021 for governments pursuing local alternative 911 emergency response initiatives. Join the Community of Practice.

 

Events

2021 Sep 30

Shifting From Planning To Doing: Implementing Alternative 911 Emergency Response Systems

12:30pm to 1:30pm

Location: 

Zoom

Across the country, governments are exploring alternative responses to nonviolent 911 calls that reduce reliance on traditional law enforcement and better connect residents to other forms of needed support, including mental and behavioral health services. To support these efforts, the GPL recently announced the...

Read more about Shifting From Planning To Doing: Implementing Alternative 911 Emergency Response Systems

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