In response to a staff direction (below), a workgroup was formed to analyzing dispatch call categories to determine whether there are opportunities to expand the City’s ability to respond to those calls beyond the Minneapolis Police Department. The workgroup will be meeting four times starting August 5th and ending November 8th. The workgroup has met twice. The first meeting was used to review data in detail to ensure that all workgroup participants were drawing from the same source of information. Between the first and second meeting, workgroup members formulated and submitted ideas based on the explicit purpose of the workgroup and data reviewed at the first meeting. Over fifty ideas were submitted. The second meeting was used to determine which ideas would move to the next phase of vetting using specific criteria. Time between the second and third meeting will be used to vet the ideas for legal, financial, time, and/or personnel implications for the City. The third meeting will be used to review the vetting and raise alternatives or further questions. Time between the third and fourth meeting will be used for further vetting if alternatives arise and to finalize recommendations. The fourth meeting will be used to finalize recommendations, prepare a "minority report" so that those who have alternative perspectives are represented in the final recommendations, and to provide suggestions for how to handle ideas that were not vetted this Fall. Final recommendations may include clear next steps, opportunities for pilots or tests to assess feasibility, etc.
Directing the City Coordinator’s Office to convene a workgroup comprised of internal City staff as well as community members to analyze dispatch call categories and determine whether there are opportunities to expand the City’s ability to respond to those calls beyond the Minneapolis Police Department. This review shall include, without limitation:
•Whether there are financial, time, and/or personnel efficiencies to be gained in responding to those calls by individuals other than Minneapolis police officers.
•What types of de-escalation training mechanisms are in place or could be in place in responding to calls for emergency assistance, and whether responding to certain calls by non-police personnel will decrease likelihood of escalation.
•What the stakeholder and resident experience is for those on the receiving end of emergency call interventions, whether by police officers or non-police personnel.
•Whether certain calls must, by state law or other legal requirements, be responded to by POST Board-certified law enforcement officers.
•Whether a new alternative emergency number for more specialized triage related but not limited to mental health crises, domestic violence, and substance abuse could improve outcomes.
•What resources, if any, would be required if any portion of the calls currently dispatched to the Police Department were diverted elsewhere, including the cost of hardware and software required to integrate dispatch functionality into other departments.
The work group should be comprised of a representative from the Minneapolis Police Department, 911, Minneapolis Fire Department, Office of Violence Prevention, and the City Attorney’s Office. The workgroup shall be supported by other departments as needed. Additionally, the workgroup shall include six (6) community members to be appointed half by the City Council and half by the Mayor through the open appointment process. Staff is directed to report back to the PSEM Committee with recommendations, including training needs and opportunities, timelines for piloting or prototyping alternative dispatch responses, and financial and personnel costs associated with any forthcoming recommendations by no later than May 9th, 2019.