TRANSFORM911Transforming 911 Report

Transforming 911: Assessing the Landscape and
Identifying New Areas of Action and Inquiry

February 28, 2022

Download a PDF of the entire report here.

 

Preface

Throughout the United States, at least 240 million calls are made to 911 each year.[1] Many of these result in life-saving responses to medical emergencies and serious crimes in progress. This everyday excellence—24 hours a day, 365 days per year—is a remarkable, often undervalued accomplishment. At the same time, our nation’s 911 system presents many opportunities for improvement and could benefit from better documentation and dissemination of best practices to address mounting challenges.[2]

Data indicate that most 911 calls are not related to a crime in progress,[3] yet elicit a police response. As a result, police spend much of their time responding to low-level or non-criminal incidents that do not amount to public safety or health emergencies.[4] Police officers have become first responders to all manner of societal ills, including family and mental health crises, conflicts in schools, and “quality-of-life” offenses such as public intoxication and panhandling. This “police-first” emergency response model burdens law enforcement with the responsibility to address challenges which are often better-addressed by other responders. This model may also exacerbate harm and perpetuate distrust in the justice system among many communities—especially those of color.[5]

These challenges have prompted some localities to reduce the police footprint in first response and to improve medical and social-service responses to a diverse array of needs that are currently often addressed through the 911 system.[6] For these efforts to yield their intended benefits and minimize undesired consequences, they need to be informed by data and research, practitioner expertise, and the perspectives of the various stakeholders who interact with 911 and alternative systems. To assist this process, the University of Chicago Health Lab launched Transform911 in July 2020 in an effort to cull the best available evidence to explore how the nation’s 911 system can better prioritize health and safety, to ensure the right responder is dispatched at the right time, and to identify and disseminate best-practices to improve first-response. Transform911 has engaged a diverse collection of 911 scholars, practitioners, and stakeholders in a community of practice to identify evidence-based practices, spark innovation, and—we hope—inspire transformative change.

911 is a system with universal impact and thus should be equally accessible to everyone. Accordingly, Tranform911 participants represent a vast array of multidisciplinary stakeholders from across the United States. They serve as 911 professionals and other first responders; community service providers, advocates, activists; academics and other researchers; policymakers; and public health providers and experts. They are divided into workgroups that correspond to six themes that collectively represent critical areas of knowledge, action, and inquiry pertaining to 911 and emergency crisis response. Their charge was to develop and inform content and recommendations that will be presented in public convenings to seek input and provide transparency. The workgroup co-chairs were selected to reflect geographic and field diversity, as well as to possess the professional stature necessary to solicit input from all workgroup members inclusively, facilitate discussions, and lead to consensus on recommendations (see the Appendix for a list of workgroup chairs and members).

The below themes and their related descriptions orient the Transform911 workgroups, which have both contributed to and been informed by the content of this publication.

911 Professional Career and Supports: What are successful and promising efforts to improve investments in, and supports for, the 911 profession? What are the necessary skill-sets, recruitment and retention strategies, training and certification standards, occupational supports, opportunities for advancement, pay and benefit equity, mental health and wellness needs, and occupational reclassification/title changes (e.g., change classification from the Bureau of Labor statistics clerical/secretarial administrative category to the public safety one) to support these professionals?

Alternative First Responders: What are successful and promising practices that provide people with appropriate medical, social service, and community resources to complement or supplant traditional police, EMS, and fire first-response? How can calls to 911 for mental and behavioral health challenges, animal control, domestic violence/intimate partner violence, traffic, noise, burglary alarms and other issues be safely offloaded to other non-police responders?

911 Hotline Alternatives: What are the strengths and limitations of alternative crisis lines or “hotlines,” including 211, 311, 988, and text lines, along with runaway, domestic violence, and suicide prevention hotlines? How can they be supported to increase their use as safe alternatives to 911 for addressing health, social service, and other community needs?

Emergency Communications Center (ECC) Operations: What are current and best practices in 911 call-handling operations, including call-taking, triaging, and dispatching protocols? What are the pros and cons of various ECC operational structures, accountability mechanisms, quality assurance measures, and stakeholder engagement strategies? How can ECC policies, procedures, and protocols best promote accessible, appropriate, safe, and equitable responses to requests for emergency services?

911 Governance: What are the various entities, structures, and processes that govern 911 operations and emergency services? What statutes, administrative rules, budget considerations, resource constraints, agency operational orders, organizational and decision-making structures, and reporting protocols influence proper quality control, oversight, implementation, and operation of standardized 911 and alternative procedures?

911 Technology and Infrastructure: How can technology enhance ECC capacity and practical effectiveness in identifying callers’ needs and addressing them with the right response, at the right time, by the right responder? What are the specific areas in which improved technology infrastructure and resources require upgrades or enhancements in service of improving public safety and health outcomes?

This report is structured in accordance with these six domains. Following the executive summary and glossary of terms, each chapter is structured to provide an overview of the topic, discuss the related state of practice, cull the research evidence and information provided in professional association reports and other grey literature, and provide specific, actionable questions to improve 911 and emergency response. The concluding chapter summarizes key themes and next steps in the journey to transform 911.

In developing this publication, we aspired to make it accessible and informative to industry experts and stakeholders, as well as to all others impacted by and interested in the subject matter. Toward that end, we employ language that may differ from standard vernacular used in the field. Namely, at the request of the Transform911 co-chairs and members, we use the term 911 professionals rather than telecommunicators. The workgroup members believe this term better reflects both the role and credibility of these key personnel, especially in light of the complexity of their jobs and the distinct and invaluable role they play in society. Wherever possible, we similarly refer to 911 call centers as Emergency Communications Centers (ECCs) a term favored by 911 professionals[7] in lieu of the more traditional term, Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs).

Like all efforts associated with the Health Lab, Transform911 strives to improve public health, its impacts, and how it is discussed. If any aspect of this work appears to miss a critical perspective or employs language that needs improvement, please contact us at transform911@uchicago.edu. We welcome any and all feedback on the content of this publication as well as the ways in which we characterize issues and opportunities pertaining to 911 operations.

S. Rebecca Neusteter's signature

S. Rebecca Neusteter, PhD, Principal Investigator, Transform911

Harold Pollack, PhD., Co-Principal Investigator, Transform911

 

Notes

[1] National Emergency Number Association, “9-1-1 Statistics,” accessed November 22, 2021, https://www.nena.org/page/911Statistics.

[2] S. Rebecca Neusteter et al., “Understanding Police Enforcement: A Multicity 911 Analysis,” Vera Institute of Justice, September 2020, https://www.vera.org/publications/understanding-police-enforcement-911-analysis.

[3] Cynthia Lum et al., “Can We Really Defund the Police? A Nine-Agency Study of Police Response to Calls for Service,” Police Quarterly (2021), https://doi.org/10.1177/10986111211035002; Neusteter, et al., “Understanding Police Enforcement;” S. Rebecca Neusteter et al., “The 911 call processing system: A review of the literature as it relates to policing,” Vera Institute of Justice, July 2019, https://www.vera.org/publications/911-call-processing-system-review-of-policing-literature.

[4] Neusteter et al., “Understanding Police Enforcement.”

[5] Council on Criminal Justice Task Force on Policing, “Shifting Police Functions,” May 2021, https://counciloncj.foleon.com/policing/assessing-the-evidence/xvi-shifting-police-functions.

[6] Chanelle N. Jones, “#LivingWhileBlack: Racially Motivated 911 Calls as a Form of Private Racial Profiling,” Temple Law Review Online 92 (2020): 55-93.

[7] A diverse array of entities, including 911.gov, the National Institutes of Health, APCO International, the IJIS Institute, and many local emergency centers use ECC in lieu of PSAP.

Acknowledgments

The authors seek to acknowledge and thank the many individuals who have supported and participated in the production of the following research briefs. We are thankful to Arnold Ventures and current and former staff, Jeremy Travis, Walter Katz, Asheley Van Ness, Anita Ravishankar, Marc Krupanski, Catie Bialick, and Nikki Smith-Kea. We are grateful to Arnold Ventures, not just for the support of the Transform911 effort, but their early leadership and support in the 911 space more broadly. We are also grateful to other Transform911 supporters, including Microsoft’s Justice Reform Initiative and current and former staff, namely Merisa Heu-Weller, Kevin Miller, Elizabeth Grossman, and Shiqueen Brown, as well as the Sozosei Foundation, notably Melissa Beck.

Transform911 and the current research briefs benefit tremendously from the thought partnership and leadership of the workgroup co-chairs. This work would not be possible if not for them. We thank Jerry Clayton, Michael Cowden, Jasmine Desiderio, Sean Goode, Meredith Horowski, Edwin Huellstrounk, Chad Kasmar, Moki Macias, Jeanne Milstein, Tyrell Morris, Mary Naoum, Stephanie Olson, George Rice, Gabriel Rodriguez, Mariela Ruiz-Angel, and Lora Ueland for their integral feedback on the reviews and their commitment to learn from and add to the research evidence base.

We are grateful to all of the Transform911 workgroup members for their feedback and participation in this effort. The membership roster is too extensive to list here. We are particularly indebted to the following members and partners who provided invaluable feedback and guidance on the reviews, including Peter Beckwith, Rebecca Brown, Amir Chapel, Brendan Cox, April Feng, Sally Lawrence, Michelle Lilly, Aili Malm, Michael Smith, Adam Wasserman, and Amy Watson.

While this initiative is led by Principal Investigator S. Rebecca Neusteter and Co-Principal Investigator Harold Pollack, much credit goes to the wonderful team who contributed to the development and production of this publication and who have provided integral support to and included feedback generated from the workgroups. These individuals include, in order of level of contribution to the research briefs: Nancy La Vigne, Melissa Reuland, Natalie Warren, Sarah Scaffidi, Jason Lerner, Katya Smyth, Tanya Tucker, Madge Haynes, Matthew Leger-Small, Cree Medley, Sam Wells, Lesly Chávez, Bhargavi Thakur, Opeoluwa Falako, Amy Szkorla, Amber Thomas, Arissa Ruano, Isabel Levin, Marilyn Sinkewicz, Amy Spellman, and Amy Acevedo-Carrasco.

Executive Summary

America’s 911 system consists of an interconnected collection of professionals, operations, governance structures, and technologies, along with a wide array of stakeholders and interests. This ecosystem faces challenges and opportunities that must be considered in the context of several issues that intersect at 911: the inputs (calls for service and how they are processed) and the outputs (the options and resources available for informational response, first responder dispatch, or diversion). Successful transformation of 911 requires championing 911 professionals and operations while supporting equitable and efficient service delivery that conserves police resources, reduces biases, and ensures that calls for emergency services generate the appropriate response.

This publication describes the complex 911 system in the US, focusing on the areas of 911 professional career and supports, alternative first responders, 911 operations, 911 alternative hotlines, emergency communications center operations, 911 governance, and 911 technology and infrastructure. The corresponding chapters were developed principally to inform the Transform911 workgroups and to establish a baseline of understandings for the workgroups and the field writ large. The content of this executive summary is described and cited in detail in the chapters that follow, examining the state of practice, research evidence, and questions for inquiry and action in each of the six intersecting domains.

911 Professional Career and Supports
911 professionals are employees serving as 911 operators, call-takers, call-handlers, and dispatchers. While the job of 911 professional is occupationally categorized as administrative, this designation misrepresents the true nature of their work. 911 professionals hold complex, challenging, and stressful jobs. They require strong communication skills, technical literacy, and the ability to comply with standard operating procedures while making nuanced judgement calls in the moment.

The way in which 911 professionals interpret and triage incoming calls has implications for whether a responder is sent to the scene and what the responder expects to encounter upon arrival. Indeed, 911 professionals hold a crucial role in decisions to dispatch police, fire, or emergency medical services in truly exigent cases versus resolving calls without dispatch or sending alternative, unarmed responders. These decisions have important implications for the safe and equitable delivery of emergency and social services through 911 and alternative hotlines.

Despite the importance of 911 professionals, the sector endures considerable challenges, including:

  • a perceived lack of respect, long shifts, low pay, and high burnout and attrition rates;
  • scant mental wellness programs to help 911 professionals navigate stress and cope with vicarious trauma;
  • a dearth of training to help 911 professionals identify people in need of mental and behavioral health supports; and
  • insufficient access to information with which to refer callers to community-based resources.

Researchers have thoroughly documented these challenges, but have not definitively identified which changes and innovations will most benefit the 911 profession. The research is also silent on which types of 911 professional trainings, policies, and resources are most promising to reduce reliance on law enforcement and support safer, more equitable, and effective responses to community requests for emergency services. Priority areas for inquiry and action include:

  • What are the impacts of improvements to 911 professionals’ supervision, wellness supports and resources, and compensation levels on their job satisfaction, job performance, and tenure?
  • What strategies work best to support the recruitment and retention of 911 professionals, and what do successful efforts to attract candidates who reflect the demographics of the communities they serve look like?
  • What are the relative merits and impacts of various call-taking protocols, training and certification processes, and quality assurance and performance measurement standards on 911 response efficiencies and outcomes for responders and individuals who are the subject of the calls?
  • How and to what extent would greater availability and increased awareness of behavioral health resources and supports relieve the burden on 911 professionals and safely divert more calls from police response?

Alternative First Responders
Tremendous and growing 911 call volumes strain both 911 professionals and the Emergency Communications Centers (ECCs) in which they work. And while many calls to 911 are neither exigent nor criminal in nature, police are typically the default response to calls that do not relate to fires or medical emergencies. This approach strains police resources, introduce police to situations other responders are better equipped to address, and may create unnecessary risk of harmful encounters between police and community members.

An array of alternative or specialized response models to 911 calls have been implemented around the country, including Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT), co-responder models, and civilian response programs. Strategies to divert 911 calls from police response have also been implemented for a variety of specific situations, including animal control issues, burglar alarms, and traffic problems. However, most jurisdictions lack alternative response models. Many programs that do exist are primarily new and under-researched. 911 professionals are not routinely trained to identify people with mental or behavioral health needs, and are not always aware of behavioral health resources that are available in the community to which callers could be referred. These challenges can be intensified by poor communications between ECCs and social and health service providers.

While alternative-response models hold promise for diverting some share of 911 calls from police to other responders who are specifically trained to address issues that are neither life-threatening nor violent, data on the number and types of calls that might fit this category are rarely examined and may be reflect inaccurate call classification. Evaluations of alternative-response models are rare and pertain primarily to CIT training. These evaluations find an increase in officers’ knowledge and attitudes about people with mental and behavioral health needs and how to interact with them safely, but limited evidence of improvement in outcomes for subjects of CIT-involved calls. Diversion-from-police rates for mobile crisis units are in the single digits, and the degree to which alternative response models impact racially disparate outcomes is unknown. However, co-responder programs have been found effective in reducing transports to emergency departments, increasing access to services, and yielding savings in both public health and criminal justice system costs.

Given the proliferation of pilot programs on alternative response throughout the country, several questions for inquiry and action require exploration through both quantitative and qualitative research. Key questions include:

  • What trainings work best to ensure culturally sensitive, trauma-informed responses to public calls for emergency services?
  • What opportunities exist to implement alternative response models and how can they be informed by reliable data on the volume and types of calls that are best suited for diversion from traditional 911 response?
  • What is the impact of alternative models on the safe, equitable, and effective resolution and response to public calls for service?
  • What are the unintended consequences of alternative response models and how can they be mitigated?
  • To what degree do alternative response models yield better outcomes—what kinds of outcomes, for whom, and under what circumstances—including enhanced access, efficiency, justice, and safety?

911 Alternative Hotlines
Given high 911 call volumes that pertain to non-emergency and non-criminal matters, the use of alternative hotlines is an important component of efforts to transform 911. Alternative hotlines include three-digit dialing resources for non-emergency issues and municipal services (311), community-based health and human services referrals (211), and the newly established National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (988). Alternative resources to 911 for crisis issues also include helplines for domestic violence support, runaway youth, and human trafficking.

The 311 non-emergency hotline was introduced to relieve the burden on 911 professionals and traditional first responders. It seeks to redirect people requesting information and municipal services to other agencies and professionals who are arguably better suited to assist them. However, in jurisdictions that have implemented 311 systems, the public continues to call 911 for non-emergency issues and a meaningful share of calls to 311 result in police dispatch. Little documentation exists on how 311 calls are handled and by whom. In some jurisdictions, nonemergency hotlines are answered by the same professionals who field 911 calls. As such, implementing a 311 line may not reduce overall ECC call volume or response by police and other traditional first responders. Research on 311 implementation is extremely outdated and does not track impacts over long periods of time, thus hindering our ability to discern whether public use of this alternative-to-911 resource increases as the 311 system matures.

211 is a social service line that provides referrals to community resources for needs ranging from food, clothing, and public healthcare to assistance with tax preparation, transportation, and eviction prevention. 211 is often a valuable resource to meet callers’ needs. Yet 211 is also limited by social service capacity constraints, particularly in rural areas.

Crisis lines span an array of needs, with most evidence-based examples being helplines affiliated with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the National Domestic Violence Hotline, both of which have been documented as providing crucial support to callers. However, the roll-out of 988, effective July 2022, will require sufficient supply of trained crisis line workers and community resources.

Alternative hotlines can only serve the public to the extent that people actually use them. Strategies to improve public awareness and engagement include popular media campaigns that deploy catchy slogans and celebrity spokespersons. In addition, effective, respectful, and efficient service delivery may encourage people to dial alternative hotlines in the future rather than resorting to 911. However, no literature exists on successful strategies to refer 911 callers to alternative lines, either directly or through the use of 311 or 211.

Several important questions exist about the best ways to develop, resource, and advertise alternative hotlines. These include the following:

  • What are the impacts of various forms of non-emergency hotlines on 911 call centers, police dispatch practices, and the safe, effective, and equitable resolution of both crime-related and non-emergency events?
  • How can alternative hotlines be informed by the people most likely to use or benefit from them?
  • Are the resources associated with alternative hotlines equitably distributed in communities based on socio-economic, demographic, and geographic characteristics?
  • What are the differential impacts of 911 versus alternative hotlines on people of color and those from under-resourced communities? To what degree do alternative hotlines reduce or increase racially disparate outcomes?
  • What are the relative costs, benefits, and potential savings of alternative hotlines?

Emergency Communications Center Operations
Emergency Communications Centers (ECCs), also known as Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) are the entities charged with delivering emergency services in response to calls to 911. Central to an ECC’s role is developing and overseeing the processes of receiving, routing, answering, dispatching, and resolving calls. A complex array of technologies, organizational structures and processes, and human decision-making is required to support these apparently straightforward call processes. ECCs, despite being restricted by the type of agency in which they are housed and their existing governance structures and mandates, have tremendous potential to influence the degree to which callers’ needs are resolved efficiently, equitably, safely, and with minimal justice system involvement.

The guidelines and protocols that dictate how 911 professionals interpret, classify, and triage calls, along with training and organizational supports, are essential in efforts to transform 911. ECC operating procedures, together with the discretion afforded 911 call-takers and dispatchers, guide which calls are resolved without the need for a field response, whether police officers are sent to the scene and what they anticipate they will encounter upon arrival, and which calls should be diverted to alternative responders, such as mental health professionals. While standardized call-taking and triaging protocols exist to ensure that calls to 911 are neither over-triaged (sending a responder when one is not necessary) or under-triaged (underestimating the exigency and risk of the event), they are not used universally by all ECCs. This patchwork of protocols leads to uneven experiences among community members seeking emergency services and renders ECCs without such tools (and the training to accompany them) vulnerable to litigation.

Best practices in ECC operations, as defined by emergency communications membership associations and expert practitioners, recommend local and regional partnerships with other ECCs, along with the sharing of standard operating procedures, training resources, technologies, and even staff and facilities. However, no research exists on the best model for ECC structure and operations, likely because the specific model for a particular ECC likely depends upon the organization’s specific capacities and authorities, reporting agency, and local context. This includes the composition and interests of the community, recognizing that “community” is not a monolith. People residing in Black and brown communities, and those whose identities, mental and behavioral health issues, and/or life circumstances have made them the source of stigma and bias may be distrustful of the government and reluctant to call 911. As the very first of first responders, 911 call-takers could reduce the odds of stigma and bias with sufficient training and exposure to people of different races, ethnicities, and socio-demographic groups, but the research is insufficient to assert that hypothesis with confidence.

The research on ECC processes provides guidance on efficiency of service delivery and strategies to improve quality assurance measures but falls short of identifying effective practices from a rigorous empirical perspective. Among the many unanswered questions that could guide improvements in the accessible, efficient, equitable, and safe delivery of emergency services are:

  • How can ECC operations be informed by members of the community they serve, including underrepresented communities, and what are the benefits of that type of engagement?
  • What are the relative benefits of various call-taking and triaging protocols and standards? To what degree do they improve accurate classification and coding? To what degree do they result in over- or under-triaging?
  • What changes to the structure and operation of ECCs and the training of ECC staff would promote interoperability and more accessible, equitable, and effective delivery of emergency services?
  • What works best in increasing access to 911 and alternative services to people with disabilities, non-English speakers, and those with hearing and speech impairments?
  • What operational changes are successful in reducing over- and under-triaging and supporting the offloading of appropriate calls to alternative resources/responders?
  • To what degree do efforts to create more behavioral health resources (e.g., the inclusion of mental health professionals in ECCs, the increase in availability of behavior health services in the community) improve service delivery and reduce the use of police responders?
  • What methods can improve the accurate classification of calls and thus the quality of data needed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of ECC service delivery?

911 Governance
In the context of emergency communications, the term “governance” refers to the coordination, oversight, funding, and standardization of both 911 and alternative hotlines and emergency services. 911 governance exists at the federal, state, regional, and local (county and city) levels, requiring planning, collaboration, and coordination given overlapping roles based on geography and type of emergency service or issue. Effective governance is essential in ensuring that funds are sufficient to support 911 operations, migration to Next Generation 911 (NG911), and the services needed to meet increased demand for suicide prevention and crisis counseling associated with the introduction of the new three-digit 988 hotline.

911 governance has evolved over time with increases in population, demand for emergency services, and advances in technology. These changes have introduced new capabilities and new challenges, with the migration to NG911 being a tremendous driver of efforts to revisit and revise 911 governance to ensure interoperability, and to provide reliable access to emergency services for people using alternatives to land lines (e.g., cellular devices, Voice over Internet Protocols, mobile texts). Coordination among multiple levels of existing 911, 311, and 211 governance structures, along with new governance structures for 988 and for other alternative hotlines, can also make certain that efforts to divert mental health and non-emergency calls from law enforcement response are implemented consistently and equitably.

Reports developed by governmental entities and emergency communications associations, in partnership with practitioners, have proposed ways in which 911 governance can establish better standards of practice, promote coordination and interoperability, enforce data collection and reporting requirements, ensure compliance with quality control and performance measurement practices, support decision-making processes, and develop efficient and economical operational structures. However, a common theme is the recognition that each ECC is unique. No one size fits all, particularly because many of the processes associated with emergency communications are governed by the agency in which the ECC is housed, as well as by jurisdictional and statewide governance factors that vary considerably and often geographically.

The scant empirical research on 911 governance prompts several areas of research inquiry and evaluation that should be prioritized to inform improvements in 911 governance. Key questions include:

  • What types of governance standards and structures best promote interoperability and coordination among public safety and nonprofit or other governmental crisis hotlines and responders? How can these streamline coordination, ensure cost-containment, and enhance efficiency and appropriateness of service delivery?
  • Which governance structures and processes include strong public oversight? What are the advantages and disadvantages of such community-oriented accountability mechanisms? How can these approaches ensure that members from high 911-use communities are included?
  • What opportunities exist for greater coordination and resource sharing among ECCs? What are the likely impacts of such collaboration on the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of different 911 funding models? Which funding models best support efforts to promote migration to NG911?
  • Which models improve accessibility of emergency and crisis services, including to those living with disabilities?
  • Which models ensure sufficient services to meet 988 demand; and support alternative responses to calls to 911?
  • What is the nature of existing demand for and current responses to calls for emergency and crisis services, and how does that inform various governance structures and consolidation measures?
  • How can governance support communications strategies to encourage the public to use alternative hotlines, such as 988, and what is required to enable 911 professionals to reroute callers to 988? How can 988 be governed to ensure that emergency services are delivered quickly in life-threatening circumstances while protecting the privacy and anonymity of callers?

911 Technology and Infrastructure
911 systems in the United States are dependent upon and influenced by the current and evolving state of information and telecommunications technology. Unfortunately, the degree of technological sophistication varies across ECCs, and even neighboring systems may not have seamless communications or interoperability capabilities. Nevertheless, a variety of innovations technology are currently being implemented, from Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules on wireless Enhanced 911 (E911) services to third-party smartphone apps that provide enhanced 911 dialing capabilities.

Next Generation 911 (NG911) may be the most publicly visible 911 technological advancement. This nationwide initiative seeks to upgrade 911 from analog phone systems to Internet Protocol (IP)-based systems that are capable of handling text and multimedia messages, as well as to promote standardization and interoperability across ECCs. NG911 represents both an opportunity and a challenge. Migration to the new system by all ECCs nationwide should improve interoperability, reliability, security, and service delivery. Yet, the process of adopting NG911 is difficult and expensive for many ECCs owing to antiquated infrastructures.

Computer-aided dispatch (CAD) systems are an essential aspect of existing and future 911 technology, as they help 911 professionals prioritize and record incident calls, coordinate incoming data from multiple streams, and manage or automate dispatch and monitoring of field responders. Together with records management systems (RMSs), which keep detailed records of incidents and reports (primarily from law enforcement agencies), the two technologies can aid in real-time decision-making, support the analysis of volume and type of calls for 911 services, and inform the need for alternative responses. These technologies, however, must be linked and coordinated across agencies. Vendors must also provide access to needed data. It is especially important to recognize that ECCs do not make decisions independently regarding technology acquisition, upgrades, and usage.

911 technologies must ensure reliable communications and efficient responses to the public’s requests for emergency services. As important as these tasks are, 911 technologies must also assist ECCs to reroute 911 calls to alternative hotlines (and vice-versa). These technologies must address the challenge of endowing alternative hotlines with location-finding capabilities without violating caller privacy or inhibiting hotline usage. They must serve the needs of nonverbal people, people with hearing impairments, and non-English speakers to communicate needs for emergency services.

The limited research on 911 technology is focused primarily on the need for technological advances and upgrades and the challenges in meeting them, and issues related to service interoperability, data sharing, and data handling capabilities. Priority areas for inquiry and action include rigorous research to answer the following questions:

  • What can we learn from tracking ECC migration to NG911 about technological barriers and what factors support successful migration? Are some ECCs better equipped to make the transition to NG911 based on the entity in which they are housed (e.g., police, fire/EMS) or the governance structure under which they operate?
  • How can technology improve the speed, quality, and effectiveness of 911 services and responses? How can it provide better 911 and alternative hotline access for users who are nonverbal, hearing impaired, or who do not speak English fluently? How well does text-to-911 serve their needs?
  • To what degree do call-taking and triaging facilitation and automation technologies yield more consistent and equitable responses and more effective service delivery? Are technologies when developed in partnership with ECC professionals more or less effective than developed without these partnerships?
  • How is CAD best structured to support optimal and equitable outcomes for call-taking, triaging, assessment, dispatch, response, and follow-up? How might different CAD user interfaces or dashboards influence call-taker assessments and triaging decisions?
  • What measures work best in promoting improvements in data quality, analysis, transparency, and secure data storage and retrieval? What measures can ensure that data generated by 911 and alternative systems and hotlines are used ethically, and that personal information is safeguarded and individual privacies are protected?

Conclusion
911 is a complex system – one that is evolving in real time owing to advances in technology and improvements in policies, practices, operations, and governance mechanisms. It serves a vital role in protecting the American public through responses to fire, medical, and serious criminal events. In addition to deserving tremendous respect, the professionals who staff our nation’s ECCs should be provided with the training and supports needed to navigate complex decision-making processes associated with fielding, triaging, and dispatching calls to 911. These priorities have significant implications for the efficient, effective, and equitable delivery of public calls for emergency services and all manner of requests for assistance.

The public’s use of 911 as the default resource for a wide array of non-emergency services results in the unnecessary deployment of police response. However, the existence and emergence of hotlines and alternatives to traditional responses to 911 calls create opportunities for new, safer, and more equitable ways of meeting the public’s needs for assistance, conserving police resources, and potentially relieving the burden on 911 call centers. Both the opportunities and challenges in this space underscore the need for greater research and more rigorous knowledge development to inform the field as it advances its efforts to transform 911.

Glossary

211
A toll-free number for information about health and human services to meet basic needs such as housing, food, transportation, and health care. 211, a service coordinated by the United Way, is available in every state, although not every community may have access to it.

311
A toll-free non-emergency municipal services number used in jurisdictions throughout the U.S., although some cities have other seven-digit numbers that provide similar services. 311 is intended for non-emergency services provided by city or public safety authorities, such as animal control, building violations, environmental concerns, street maintenance, and filing a non-emergency police report.

511
A toll-free number used in several states to provide travelers with real-time weather and traffic information.

911
The universal toll-free emergency services number for the United States and most of North America. 911 was first implemented in 1968 in Haleyville, Alabama, and is now available to most US residents, although some rural areas lack access.

911 Hotline Alternatives
911 is the national emergency number for the U.S., but there are other numbers to call (and text) for different kinds of help. These “hotlines” include medical, social service, civic, and community alternatives to calling 911 for assistance, including 311, 211, and a variety of mental health and crisis hotlines.

911 Professionals
The people who serve as operators, call takers, call-handlers, dispatchers, and other roles in emergency communications centers, which are the first point of access to response in an emergency.

988
The national number associated with mental-health, veterans, and suicide helplines. 988, operational effective July 16, 2022, connects callers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and enables veterans seeking service to dial “1” for access to the national Veterans Crisis Line.

Alternative Responders
Generally, anyone other than police, firefighters, or Emergency Medical Service (EMS) personnel who responds to a 911 or alternative hotline call. Alternative responders may be trained mental health and substance use treatment providers, social workers, peers, community health workers, or other workers. Mental health and substance use calls are perhaps most often mentioned in this area, but other situations that may benefit from alternative response include animal control, domestic violence, traffic violations, and noise complaints.

Association of Public Safety Communicators (APCO)
Founded in 1935, APCO International represents the interests of public safety communications professionals.

Basic 911
The original 911 system for which the emergency and its location are communicated to a 911 professional by voice or teletype, using the public switched telephone network (PSTN).

Behavioral Health
Refers to the connection between mental health and behaviors that affect both mental and physical health, such as substance use disorder.

Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD)
A computer-based system that aids 911 professionals by automating selected dispatching and record keeping activities. CAD helps 911 professionals prioritize and record incident calls, coordinate incoming data from multiple streams, manage or automate dispatch and monitoring of field responders, and facilitate quality assurance and performance measurement activities.

Calls for Service
Calls to 911 from community members.

Call Taker, or Call Handler
The professional who answers calls to 911 or an alternative hotline and determines what type of response is needed.

Call-taker Protocols
Scripts, decision trees, guide cards, and other tools and policies that guide how 911 professionals answer and triage calls.

Call Type
The reason for the 911 call for service, which can range from minor issues like traffic or auto accidents to more serious crimes like burglaries or assault. Call type is influenced by how the call taker interprets and classifies the call, as well as the array of classification options available to them.

Call Volume
The number of calls placed to an emergency communications center.

Crisis Intervention Team (CIT)
A group of police officers who have received specialized training to interact with people experiencing mental or behavioral health crises to avoid use of force and to connect people with services or treatment, rather than involvement with the criminal legal system. CIT-trained officers often receive collaborative support from mental health professionals and community members. CIT is sometimes used to refer only to the crisis intervention training that police officers receive.

Civilian Response Team
A team comprised of non-law enforcement professionals with expertise in any of the following: mental health, behavioral health, substance use disorders, social work, mobile crisis intervention, community resources for conflict resolution and crisis response, peer-support, public health, and any others who can deflect or divert people from police enforcement and correctional confinement.

Co-Responders or Co-Response
Co-response is a model of emergency response in which mental health and substance use professionals or other social services personnel (co-responders) respond to 911 calls for service along with police officers or soon after police arrive at the scene.

Dispatcher
The ECC professional who receives information from a 911 call taker (or in smaller ECCs may also serve as call taker) and then dispatches emergency responders, which are usually firefighters, EMS personnel, and/or police.

Emergency Communications Center (ECC)
The preferred term (in lieu of Public Safety Answering Point) of many 911 professionals for the entity that is designated to receive and respond to requests for emergency assistance.

Emergency Medical Technician/Emergency Medical Services (EMT/EMS)
Medical personnel who respond to medical emergency 911 calls. The term EMS is often used to refer to personnel that respond in ambulances.

Enhanced 911
A 911 system with location-tracking capabilities that enables the visual display a caller’s phone number and address to the call taker.

Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
The U.S. government agency that serves as the lead authority for communications law, regulation, and technological innovation. The FCC regulates interstate and international communications, including 911, in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories.

FIRSTNET
A nationwide public safety cellular network to promote communications among first responders and those who support them.

Governance
In the context of 911, governance pertains to the authorities—including federal, state, county, and municipal governments, police jurisdictions, and for-profit companies—contracted by a municipality, that put forth statutes, policies, protocols, and accountability mechanisms to promote effective and efficient emergency communications and response, including service reliability, interoperability, and cyber security.

Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association (HAPCOA)
A national association representing Hispanic American command officers from law enforcement and criminal justice agencies at the municipal, county, state, and federal levels.

Industry Council for Emergency Response Technologies (iCERT)
An association representing vendors of public safety and emergency response technologies.

Internet of Things (IoT)
The interconnection via the internet of physical objects—“things”—that are embedded with sensors, software, and other capabilities, enabling them to send and receive data and potentially communicate with each other.

Interoperability
The capability for disparate systems to communicate with one another.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Quantifiable metrics that are (or could be) used to define and measure success and failure within emergency response.

Landline
A colloquial term for the Public Switched Telephone Network access via an actual copper or fiber optic transmission line that travels underground or on telephone poles. Used to differentiate traditional telephonic communication from the “wireless” connectivity of a cellular or Internet-based device.

Land Mobile Radio System (LMRS)
A wireless communications system that uses portable and mobile devices to allow for two-way digital radio communications.

Long-Term Evolution (LTE)
The emergent technological network that allows for increased capacity and for large volumes of data to be exchanged over wireless networks.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (LIFELINE)
A national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Effective July 16, 2022, LIFELINE will be accessible nationwide by dialing 988.

Low-Level Crimes
Generally considered to be minor offenses that do not involve the physical harm of another person, including misdemeanors, petty crimes, and crimes of survival.

National Association of State 911 Administrators (NASNA)
An association of state 911 program administrators whose focus is to facilitate the success of 911 programming at the state, territory, and district level.

National Emergency Number Association (NENA)
An association established to improve 911 through research, standards development, training, education, outreach, and advocacy.

Next Generation 911 (NG911)
A digital or Internet Protocol (IP)-based 911 system that is currently being implemented across the U.S. to promote interoperability among emergency systems; enable 911 to be more reliable and responsive to widespread emergencies, natural disasters, and call overload; and to provide an avenue for the receipt of videos, photos, and text messages shared by 911 users.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
A federal agency within the Department of Transportation whose mission is to promote transportation safety in the United States.

National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE)
An international association representing represent Black chief executive officers and command-level law enforcement officials from federal, state, county, municipal law enforcement agencies, and criminal justice practitioners.

On-Scene Response
Policies, practices, and analyses related to 911 and alternative hotline response tactics by police, EMS, fire, and alternative responders who are dispatched to the scene.

Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP)
The technical name for a 911 call center, also known as an Emergency Communications Center (ECC). Each PSAP represents a district or geographic area, such as a county, city, region, or independently bounded area. The preferred term is Emergency Communications Center.

Public Safety Telecommunicator (PST)
A term referring to 911 call takers, who answer 911 calls, and 911 dispatchers, who receive information from call takers and then deploy responders to the scene of an event. The preferred term is 911 Professional.

Smart911
A for-profit platform that enables voluntary users to enter information about themselves and other members of their household, including pets, into the platform to be stored for retrieval by ECCs.

Teletypewriter Devices for the Deaf (TTY)
The technology designed to enable non-hearing individuals to communicate by text via a telephone landline.

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
Internet Protocol (IP)-based systems that rely on broadband internet rather than the public switched telephone network (PSTN) and have the ability to transmit multimedia messages in addition to voice calls. This is the major component of NG911.

Use of Force
Police officer use of physical means to compel compliance, including officer-involved shooting, taser use, and use of restraints.

Chapter One:
911 Professional Career & Supports

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911 professionals are employees serving as 911 operators, call-takers, call-handlers, and dispatchers. While the job of 911 professional is occupationally categorized as administrative, this designation misrepresents the true nature of their work. 911 professionals hold complex, challenging, and stressful jobs. They require strong communication skills, technical literacy, and the ability to comply with standard operating procedures while making nuanced judgement calls in the moment.

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Chapter Two:
Alternative First Responders

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The public dials 911 for a wide array of issues, not all of which are serious or urgent in nature. Many are requests for information that are handled by call takers or referred to other agencies or local nonprofits, while others result in a responder being dispatched to the scene. Yet in most jurisdictions, call takers have just three options when choosing a responder: police, fire, or emergency medical services.

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Chapter Three:
911 Hotline Alternatives

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911 is the most used hotline in the United States, with members of the public making an average of 600,000 calls to 911 each day. The public relies on 911 for a wide array of issues, ranging from requests for information to assistance in acute emergencies. For a small but important share of 911 calls, the resulting dispatch yields life-saving responses to medical emergencies and serious crimes-in-progress. But many calls to 911 are from people seeking information or lodging minor complaints, from questions about how to get a driver’s license renewed to complaints about a neighbor’s car is blocking one’s driveway.

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Chapter Four:
Emergency Communications Center Operations

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When a member of the public places a call to 911, a series of processes are initiated that have significant consequences for the caller, for the subject of the call, and for first responders. The steps taken are determined by policies and procedures governing whether and to whom the call is routed, and by how the 911 professional who answers the call captures information about the situation, assesses the level of urgency and risk, and resolves the call on their own or transfers it to another service provider or dispatcher. The role of 911 professionals thus goes beyond answering and routing calls.

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Chapter Five:
Governance

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Emergency management governance is essential to ensuring that 911 systems are sufficiently funded, that the public has access to reliable emergency services, and that emergency communications are coordinated, particularly in the context of regional and national disasters. Such governance has evolved over time with increases in population, demand for emergency services, and advances in technology.

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Chapter Six:
911 Technology & Infrastructure

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The U.S. 911 system was created in 1968 and its expansion was facilitated by the Wireless Communications and Public Safety Act of 1999, designed to ensure immediate response to public requests for fire, police, and emergency medical services. Nationwide, the 911 system currently fields an estimated 240 million calls every year, yet the degree of technological sophistication associated with routing, responding, and documenting this tremendous volume of calls varies greatly from one jurisdiction to another.

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Conclusion

This report documents the complex and interconnected nature of 911 and alternatives to emergency response systems in this country. The wide array of stakeholders and interests—from 911 professionals to advocates seeking to reduce the police footprint—exist within intersecting operations and governance structures that span jurisdictional boundaries and lack standardized training, policies, and practices. One sobering reality of these complexities is that not all interests are currently coordinated in efforts to improve 911 service delivery, despite their shared alignment with the goal of delivering safe, high quality, and equitable responses to public requests for both emergency and non-emergency services. Without greater coordination and collaboration, the various stakeholders in this space run the risk of operating at cross purposes.

Successful transformation requires that all people engaged with and affected by the 911 system approach efforts to improve it with open minds and open hearts. Indeed, given the diversity of the 911 ecosystem, stakeholders of all stripes need to come together to recognize and collectively solve problems and create solutions. This includes the 911 professionals who hold vital but all too often under-appreciated roles in public safety and community health; the public officials and jurisdictional leaders who are well positioned to advocate for sufficient funding and prioritization of 911 and alternative hotlines and responses; and members of the community—ranging from those who are reluctant to dial 911 to those who are heavy users of the system. Engagement of the people most affected by the 911 system is crucial in promoting shared understanding and engendering buy in for the implementation of new strategies.

Migration to Next Generation 911 (NG911) requires a tremendous investment in people, systems, and technologies, as do all manner of efforts to re-envision emergency communications and service delivery in this moment. This need is urgent and demands the attention of policymakers at all levels of government. Importantly, it is essential that investment in NG911 and alternative response systems not be viewed as a zero-sum game. Increasing resources and supports for 911 should not come at the expense of investments in traditional first responders. Rather, the two are complementary and inextricably linked, and therefore should be supported in equal measure.

Research and data are foundational to diagnosing the underlying source of problems in meeting the public’s demand for services and developing solutions that hold the greatest promise of yielding intended results. This report documents the scant research across all six domains, raising crucial gaps in knowledge and data that must be filled, particularly in the interests of evaluation. Rigorous process and impact evaluations of 911 professional training programs, the implementation of new call-taking and triaging protocols, the piloting of alternative response programs, and the deployment of new technologies are all required. The absence of a significant research investment in this space risks replacing current inefficiencies and inequities with new ones.

In closing, it is important to note that in many respects, our nation’s 911 system represents the state writ large; its effective and equitable operation is integral to a democratic society. The public calls 911 for a wide array of requests for information and services, a considerable share of which are non-emergency in nature. As such, the ability of 911 to meet the needs of the public is foundational to the public’s trust in government and their confidence in the reliability of public institutions. It is hoped that this report, as a foundation to the Transform911 initiative, helps build that public trust, providing a strong foundation from which to promote the equitable and reliable delivery of the right response by the right person at the right time.

Appendix: Workgroup Co-Chairs and Members

911 Professional Career and Supports

Co-Chairs

George Rice, Managing Partner, SkyHawk Global

George Rice is a Managing Partner at Skyhawk Global Associates. He has a diverse background covering 35 years in public service and global engagement. He is a former American enforcement and intelligence agent and has headed a series of programs and organizations directed at public sector and emergency services efforts, with a focus on the technologies that enhance these vital interests. He is the former Executive Director of the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International and the Industry Council for Emergency Response Technologies (iCERT), leading both organizations into significant growth periods.

Lora Ueland, Executive Director, Valley Communications Center 911
Lora Ueland is the Executive Director of Valley Communications Center 911 in Washington State. She began her career as a dispatcher at Valley Com and has held multiple roles, culminating in her current position as Executive Director since 2011. Lora is the immediate past-president of the Washington APCO/NENA Chapter, Board Chair of the Puget Sound Emergency Radio Network, and Board member of the Community Connectivity Consortium, a fiber-optic network serving cities, schools, hospitals and 911 Centers in the greater Puget Sound region.  With nearly 40 years’ experience in the 911 field, Lora has earned APCO certifications as a Registered Public-Safety Leader and Certified Public-Safety Executive.  Continual improvement, growth mind-set and being of service are part of Lora’s core values.

Members 

Jill Baldassano, Senior Manager, SkyHawk Global
Jill is Senior Manager at SkyHawk Global where she develops strategic and integrated content to help clients advance overall business objectives. In her diverse background, she has helped companies from small startups to multi-billion-dollar global organizations develop their own brand and increase share of voice in their own unique way. Jill has expertise in helping transform companies through customer service content, digital strategies, user engagement campaigns and overall marketing communications. She has spent her career collaborating with subject matter experts, thought leaders, stakeholders and ultimately, the audience, to engage in meaningful content. Jill holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Brigham Young University.

Mary Boyd, Executive Committee Member, Industry Council for Emergency Response Technologies
In addition to her role as VP at Intrado, Mary Boyd is an executive committee member at the Industry Council for Emergency Response Technologies. She has also served as one of the earliest presidents of the National Emergency Number Association and has over 30 years of Public Safety experience. Her career has ranged from PSAP Operations to Statewide 911 Authority, and in the late 90’s she moved into the Private Sector. While serving in a state leadership role she was involved with 9-1-1 system design, implementation, funding, and regulatory issues associated with deployment of the service at both the State and Federal Government levels.

Jeremy Hill, 911 Center Co-Manager, Amarillo, TX
Captain Jeremy Hill currently serves as Co-Manager of the consolidated 911 center in Amarillo, TX. He has served in a First Responder capacity since 1999, where he performed duties in the communications center as a Dispatcher and Call Taker. Captain Hill also leads the Critical Incident Stress Management team at his 911 center and at the regional level. He cites employee health and wellness as core values to be championed.

Yolanda L. Lewis, Executive Vice President, Justice and Health, Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute
Yolanda Lewis is the Executive Vice President of Justice and Health for the Meadows Institute, focused on improving outcomes for individuals with behavioral health conditions in the criminal justice system.  Before joining Meadows, she served as the Senior Director for Safety and Justice at The Pew Charitable Trusts, overseeing work to improve justice-related efficiencies at the state and local levels of government.  Formerly the District Court Administrator for the Atlanta Judicial Circuit, Lewis designed initiatives in judicial administration, court and jail management, mental health, and justice reinvestment.  A certified court manager, Lewis is an appointee to the Racial Equity Advisory Board for the District Court of Columbia, and a board member of the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System.  She has served as faculty for Michigan State University’s Judicial Administration program, vice president of the National Association for Court Management, a founding member of the Fulton County Smart Justice Advisory Council, and president of the Georgia Council of Court Administrators.  Lewis holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, and a master’s in public administration from the University of South Alabama and is a graduate of the executive leadership program at Yale University.

Monica Million, 9-1-1 Business Development Manager, Amazon Web Services
Monica Million began working in 2001 as a telecommunicator at the Grand Junction Regional Communication Center in Colorado. Well respected within the industry, she advanced to serve as the president of NENA, the National Emergency Number Association. With 20 years of service, Monica currently works in the role of 9-1-1 Business Development Manager for Amazon Web Services.

Keris Myrick, Director at JED Foundation/Co-Director S2i (The Mental Health Strategic Impact Initiative)
Keris Jän Myrick is a Co-Director of The Mental Health Strategic Impact Initiative (S2i) which aims to advance the transformation of mental health by catalyzing cross-sectional reforms, strengthening collaborations, and bridging gaps, she serves on the Board of the National Association of Peer Specialists (N.A.P.S.) is a Certified Personal Medicine Coach and Therapeutic Game Master. Keris previously held positions as the Chief, Peer and Allied Health Professions for the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, the Director of the Office of Consumer Affairs for the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) of the United States Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), President and CEO of Project Return Peer Support Network, a Los Angeles-based, peer-run nonprofit and the Board President of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Keris is a leading mental health advocate and executive, known for her innovative and inclusive approach to mental health reform and the public disclosure of her personal story. Ms. Myrick has over 15 years of experience in mental health services innovations, transformation, and peer workforce development. In June 2021, Keris was the recipient of Mental Health America’s highest honor the Clifford W. Beers Award. Ms. Myrick has a Master of Science degree in organizational psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology of Alliant International University. Her Master of Business Administration degree is from Case Western University’s Weatherhead School of Management.

Bob Patterson, Executive Director, Mercy EMS Springfield Communities

Tiffany Russell, Project Director, Mental Health and Justice Partnerships, The Pew Charitable Trusts
Tiffany Russell directs Pew’s mental health and justice work with a focus on improving justice-related efficiencies in state and local governments. This includes developing national standards for reforms that reduce the use of law enforcement and jails when responding to individuals with a mental health issue. Before joining Pew, Russell served as the director of planning and development for the Superior Court of Fulton County, Georgia, where she was responsible for building the court’s capacity by developing policies, programs, and processes to enhance the administration of justice and increase access to justice for all. Russell also held several positions in grant management, research, strategic planning, public relations, and communications in nonprofit, government, and education organizations. Russell holds a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership and a Master of Business Administration in innovation from Mercer University.

Brian Scott, Principal, BDS Planning & Urban Design
Brian Scott and has more than 40 years of professional experience and founded BDS Planning in 2009 to solve strategic puzzles toward more vibrant, just, and sustainable communities. His professional practice focuses on inclusive processes, consensus facilitation, organizational development, and place management. Strategic planning and racial equity in 9-1-1 communications are particularly relevant specialties. Brian a Ph.D. in Urban Studies from Portland State University.

Jeff Streeter, Executive Director, Jefferson County Communications Center Authority
Jeff Streeter currently serves as the Executive Director of the Jefferson County Communications Center Authority. He is a retired Chief of Police for the Lone Tree Police Department in Colorado, with more than 30 years of experience in the field. Streeter holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice/Police Science and Sociology from the Metropolitan State College in Denver, Colorado. He also completed the Senior Management, Leadership at the FBI National Class #241.

Adam Timm, Consultant and Founder, The Healthy Dispatcher
Adam Timm began his 17-year career in public safety as a 9-1-1 dispatcher for the Los Angeles Police Department, where he spent over a decade under the headset. He left the LAPD after founding his training and consulting company to provide classes, conference sessions and culture change consulting services to dispatchers across the country. Adam’s energetic presentations and uplifting message have made him one of the most highly regarded speakers in the 9-1-1 industry.

Ashley Tjaden, Business Services/Equity & Diversity Coordinator, Bureau of Emergency Communications (9-1-1)
Ashley Tjaden currently serves as the Equity Coordinator at the Portland (OR) Bureau of Emergency Communications (9-1-1). She has a background in Code Enforcement and has worked in several public utilities departments including Water, Sewer & Stormwater, and Garbage. She specializes in community engagement with diverse communities. Tjaden holds a bachelor’s degree in Community Development with an emphasis on Community Organization and Change from Portland State University.

Vikki Wachino, Principal, Viaduct Consulting
Vikki Wachino has worked for more than 25 years to advance stronger health care systems for low-income people in the U.S. She is the former deputy administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, for which she oversaw all policy and operations for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program and led historic efforts to expand Medicaid coverage, reduce the nation’s uninsured rate, and strengthen state health care delivery systems. Ms. Wachino is the author of many publications on Medicaid coverage and financing and speaks frequently on these topics, including in testimony before Congress. She is a graduate of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and Mount Holyoke College.

Kim Westcott, Senior Program Officer, Criminal Justice Grantmaking, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies
Kim Westcott is a Senior Program Officer in Criminal Justice Grantmaking with Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies, supporting the new portfolio focusing on ending mass incarceration, increasing opportunities for those impacted by the criminal legal system and promoting the health and safety of all communities. Throughout her career, Kim has been committed to addressing root problems and promoting systemic change that builds the power of communities of color. Before joining Schusterman Family Philanthropies, Kim served as Associate Counsel in the Community Service Society of New York’s Legal Department, where she developed human rights centered strategies and programming to remove barriers to employment for the formerly incarcerated and expand opportunities to fully participate in the life of the community.

Wes Wright, Executive Director, Next Generation 911 Institute
Wesley (Wes) Wright serves as the Executive Director of the Next Generation 911 Institute and is a recognized expert on federal and state rules relating to 911 services, including 911 reliability, interconnection, and outage reporting requirements. Wright holds a bachelor’s degree from the College of Wooster and a J.D. from the University of Akron, School of Law. As a Partner at Keller and Heckman, he also represents trade associations and corporate clients on policy matters before the FCC and assists clients with all aspects of FCC enforcement investigations. Prior to rejoining Keller and Heckman, Wes worked as an in-house attorney for a telecommunications company where he advised the company’s subsidiaries on federal and state regulations governing the 911 industry, VoIP requirements, and other telecommunications compliance matters of interest.

Research Delegates

April Feng, Senior Analyst, Center for Radical Innovation for Social Change at the University of Chicago
April Feng is a Senior Analyst at the Center for Radical Innovation for Social Change (RISC) at the University of Chicago. Feng worked previously as the Deputy Director of Economic Empowerment for the City of South Bend under Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and as a Legislative Aide in the UK House of Commons. Feng received a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science from the University of Notre Dame, as well as a master’s in philosophy and Public Policy with Distinction from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Lois James, Assistant Dean of Research, Washington State University College of Nursing
Lois James is an associate professor in the Washington State University (WSU) College of Nursing, where she focuses on bias, stress, sleep, and performance in “high stress” populations such as police officers, military personnel, nurses, and top tier athletes. She is one of a handful of research advisors for the International Association of Chiefs of Police, has received multiple honors and awards for her work, and is internationally recognized as a leading expert in her field. Dr. James’s simulation-based research on the impact of bias on police decision making has significantly advanced what is known about how suspect race and ethnicity (as well as other factors) influences police officers during critical encounters with the public. She is the founding director of Counter Bias Training Simulation (CBTsim), a novel and innovative simulation-based implicit bias training program that has been featured in National Geographic and the recent feature-length documentary “bias.” Dr. James’s work has been published extensively in academic journals, practitioner magazines, and mainstream media such as the New York Times and the Washington Post. During her time at WSU, James has brought in approximately $6,000,000 of extramural funding, making her an important contributor to WSU’s “Drive to 25” goal of being recognized as one of the nation’s top 25 public research universities, preeminent in research and discovery, teaching, and engagement by 2030.

Michelle Lilly, Professor of Clinical Psychology, Northern Illinois University
Dr. Michelle Lilly is a licensed clinical psychologist, who received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Michigan where she completed a post-doctoral fellowship before becoming a faculty member at Northern Illinois University. She has previously worked as a Co-Investigator on a federally funded grant examining the impact of NG9-1-1 on telecommunicators. In 2019, Dr. Lilly developed Illinois funded “Saving Blue Lives,” a two-day training for law enforcement on PTSD, suicide, peer support, and resilience.

Jim Marshall, Co-Founder, 911 Training Institute
Jim Marshall is a Co-Founder of the 911 Training Institute with his sister, Deborah Achtenberg, and his wife, Linda Marshall. He currently serves as the CEO and Lead Instructor for 911TI, strategically leading the organization in development of curriculum and resources to benefit the 9-1-1 industry. Jim is a leading voice in the 9-1-1 industry for mental health and dispatcher wellness. He is a mental health professional and educates telecommunicators in personal stress resilience and mastery of calls involving suicide and mental illness. Jim is co-editor of The Resilient 9-1-1 Professional: A Comprehensive Guide to Surviving & Thriving Together in the 9-1-1 Center. Jim has served on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Emergency Dispatch and as Co-chair of the NENA Working Group that produced the NENA Standard on Acute/Traumatic and Chronic Stress. He also served as the Chair/CEO of the 911 Wellness Foundation, a former non-profit organization that was devoted to fostering the well-being of 9-1-1 professionals through research, education, policy, and intervention.

  

Alternative First Responders

Co-Chairs

Sean Goode, Executive Director, Choose 180
Sean Goode is a speaker, facilitator, writer, podcast host, executive coach, and nonprofit leader who is driven by his mantra, “possibilities over problems,” which was born out of his lived experience growing up in what was overwhelmingly challenging circumstances. Through his stewardship of the now nationally recognized nonprofit, CHOOSE 180, he has worked to decriminalize youthful behavior and transform the very systems that have historically caused harmed to marginalized communities. Prior to leading this 2021 City of Seattle Human Rights award-winning organization he served as a chaplain in juvenile detention, championed gang and group intervention efforts, and worked to provide education and employment opportunities for youth in at-risk communities.

Sean Goode is considered a national expert on justice reform and has been appointed by the Washington State Governor to the Partnership Council on Juvenile Justice where he serves as the vice chair working to address statewide issues surrounding the criminalization of adolescent behavior.  As a thought leader, Sean is regularly sharing his own personal journey, the transformative power of grace and the impact of elevating possibilities over problems with a diversity of audiences in both the private and public sector.

Gabriel Rodriguez, Chief of Police, Camden, New Jersey
Chief Gabriel Rodriguez assumed command of the Camden County Police Department on December 31, 2020. An East Camden native Chief Rodriguez has served the City of Camden as a police officer for more than seventeen years. Chief Rodriguez graduated from the prestigious Senior Management Institute for Policing in 2019, earned his bachelor’s degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University, and is currently completing a master’s degree in public administration. Chief Rodriguez is recognized as a plank-holding member of the department, playing a key role in the creation and successful stand-up of the department in 2013. Throughout his career Chief Rodriguez has served in many capacities including uniformed operations, investigations, community leadership, and executive commands.

Members

Rebecca Brown, Owner and President, Further The Work
As founder and President of Further The Work, Rebecca seizes opportunities to build better justice wherever she can. Fiercely committed to both equity and excellence and noted for her uncommon ability to forge effective partnerships among highly diverse stakeholders, Rebecca has proven capacity to design progressive, effective, transformative, and fundable initiatives that significantly shift collective premises, policies, and practices. Among her other work, Rebecca has designed a nationally recognized Misdemeanor Early Representation program to advance procedural justice and reduce failures to appear and related warrants; designed a public/private collective impact reentry center that has served as a replicable model for other jurisdictions; and designed and is managing a national project to advance effective implementation of LEAD initiatives across the country. Rebecca holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a master’s degree from Stanford University, where she is also completing her PhD.

Joseph Cortez, Associate Professor, University of Southern California
Joseph retired as the Executive Officer in the Office of the Chief of Police at the Santa Monica Police Department and currently employed as a faculty member at the University of Southern California, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate level courses in public policy and organizational leadership. Joseph is also a decorated NSW combat veteran and member of several veteran associations. Joseph represents the Los Angeles County Police Chiefs for the Los Angeles Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) program for Unmanned Aviation related matters, Chairs the Unmanned Aviation Working Group for the LA/LB UASI program, and is the Co-Chair for the Research and Policy Committee for the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

Katie Camp, Senior Program Manager at The Policing Project, New York University School of Law

Brendan Cox, Director of Policing Strategies, LEAD Support Bureau
Brendan Cox is the Director of Policing Strategies for the LEAD Support Bureau. He was born and raised in Albany, NY and maintains his Bureau office there. Prior to coming to the Bureau, Brendan worked for the Albany Police department for 23 years and retired as the Chief. Albany was the third City to adopt and implement LEAD. Brendan enjoys the hands-on work at the Bureau and helping communities across the country work to reform how systems look at problematic substance use, mental health, and poverty.

Dolores (D.C.) Ernst, Program Administrator for Community Assistance Program, City of Phoenix
Dolores Ernst is the Program Administrator for the City of Phoenix Community Assistance Program. Ms. Ernst has been the Administrator since June 2021. She has been an employee with Community Assistance Program since 2006.  For 3 years, Dolores served as Adjunct Faculty with Maricopa Community Colleges and taught a variety of social work courses. Dolores received a Master of Social Work from Arizona State University.

Naji Fenwick, Program Manager, Vital Strategies
Naji Mujahid Fenwick, Esq. is the Program Manager of Police Assisted Diversion (PAD) at Vital Strategies’ Overdose Prevention Program, a seconded position to the City of Philadelphia Managing Director’s Office of Criminal Justice. Among other duties, he supports the Assistant Director of Diversion and Deflection in their efforts to develop and implement improvements to the PAD program model and advance harm reduction approaches in law enforcement, including strategies to reduce overdose by diverting people away from arrest to supports and services.

David Heppard, Executive Director, Freedom Project Seattle
David knows first-hand the impacts of mass incarceration after being incarcerated at 16 years old with a de facto life sentence. Due to his juvenile status when he was convicted, and the passage of the 5064 bill, he was released after 24 years of confinement. He now works toward developing partnerships with other community providers whose mission is in alignment with making advancements in criminal justice and prison reform. He is also a Credible Messenger, which is a national initiative of adult men and women from similar backgrounds who equip young people with the tools to heal their lives and provide them with a living example of hope and transformation.

Daniel Kornfield, Executive Director, Dignity Best Practices
Dan Kornfield has led best-practices research, benchmarking, and consulting teams at Corporate Executive Board and Frontier Strategy Group, serving executives within large enterprises. In 2016 he pivoted to work with city governments, to help them pioneer their practices in public safety.  He has served in Washington DC as a Senior Budget Analyst in the Office of the City Administrator, as a sworn reserve Police Officer and as Supervisor of the Research and Analytical Services Branch within the Metropolitan Police Department.

Lionel King, Program Specialist, Law Enforcement Action Partnership
Lionel King is a Program Specialist for Law Enforcement Action Partnership in addition to a ethnographer, author, and researcher. He holds a PhD in Intercultural Relations. His research centers on the use of religious/cultural practices in mental health treatment. Lionel is a New Orleans native and a proud husband and father.

India Hayes Larrier, State Advocacy Manager, Community Catalyst
India Hayes Larrier, MPH, is a state advocacy manager for Community Catalyst, a leading non-profit national health advocacy organization dedicated to advancing a movement for health equity and justice. Through technical assistance, coaching, and coalition building, Mrs. Larrier builds and maintains relationships with national, state, and local partners. She especially works with those organizations seeking transformative approaches to addiction.
Before joining Community Catalyst, India worked as associate state director for advocacy at AARP NJ, where she organized community partnerships and coalitions. She also coached volunteer advocates and members of the 50+ community to inform peers and state and federal legislators on issues of concern and advocate for amendments and passage of legislation beneficial to New Jersey. Before AARP, as a health care organizer for the state-wide advocacy and social justice organization, New Jersey Citizen Action, she organized and spoke out at events in defense of the Affordable Care Act, expansion of substance use disorder treatment, and prevention services for youth and young adults. She served two terms in elected office as Township Committeewoman in Maplewood, NJ.

Janelle Marcellis, Police Commander, University of Chicago
Janelle is an experienced Police Commander at the University of Chicago who has demonstrated history of working in all levels of law enforcement including public, private, state, federal and the higher education industry. Janelle has served in law enforcement for more than twenty years and is skilled in Patrol Operations, Investigations, Community Relations, Emergency Management, and Crisis Intervention. Janelle graduated from Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command and earned two bachelor’s degree in law enforcement justice administration and psychology from Western Illinois University and a master’s degree in public safety administration from Lewis University.

Matthew Moody, Director, Contact Center Operations at Crisis Response Network
Matthew Moody serves as the Director of Contact Center Operations at Solari Crisis Response Network. In this role, he oversees 100 employees in a crisis contact center that fields over 25,000 calls per month. He also provides oversight to 2-1-1 Arizona, which offers information and referral services to the state of Arizona. He has over ten years of experience in the behavioral health field, specializing in case management, crisis, and counseling services. Matthew is passionate about veteran support, increasing public knowledge of mental health issues, and reducing mental health stigma. With a strong desire to prevent suicide, Matthew leads innovative change to improve the lives of those with mental illness. Matthew earned a Bachelor of Psychology degree and a Master of Science degree in Counseling from Arizona State University. Matthew also serves on the Board of Directors for Mental Health America of Arizona.

Brianna O’Steen, PhD, Senior Public Policy Associate, Mark43
Brianna O’Steen is an interdisciplinary researcher whose expertise sits at the intersections of public policy, health, and safety. Brianna is particularly passionate about human-centered policy design and evaluation to promote equitable public policy and social programs. She is a mixed methods practitioner employing econometric, traditional qualitative, and content analysis aided by machine learning and natural language processing methodologies in her work. Currently, Brianna holds the position of Senior Public Policy Associate at Mark43 where she and colleagues leverage public policy and cloud-native software to connect communities and increase public safety. Prior to this position, Brianna O’Steen was a Doctoral Candidate at Oregon State University studying the social and economic costs and benefits of labor migration policies in the Philippines. Brianna also holds advanced degrees in Public Health and Applied Anthropology from the University of South Florida.

Emily Perish, Co-Founder, Comprehensive Care Institute
Emily joined the CCP team while pursuing her Master of Public Policy at the University of Chicago where she focused on health policy, inequities, and economics. After graduating, she was selected to participate in the Administrative Fellowship at University of Chicago Medicine, continuing to work with the CCP program around development and expansion. Before graduate school, Emily managed district operations and strategic development within the Illinois House of Representatives and performed independent research about the use of mobile health interventions to improve maternal health outcomes. Emily is passionate about increasing access to high quality, holistic health care for all people.

Matt Perkins, Program Director, Local Initiatives Support Corporation
Matt Perkins is an expert in community-based crime reductions efforts and advocate for resident-based crime prevention efforts. Matt joined LISC in 2013, his work has included supporting community-based approaches to reducing crime and increasing safety.  The goals of this work are to help residents improve their neighborhoods’ safety and health through community action and capacity building in equal partnership with local law enforcement agencies.  He has been a lead technical assistance provider on multiple U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) programs, trainer for local LISC partners and collaborator with criminal justice policy and research organizations.  Prior to working with LISC, Matt was a technical assistance provider for the federal Weed and Seed crime prevention program, provided crime reduction support to HUD and public housing agencies nationwide, and worked at DOJ’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.

Research Delegates

Amir Chapel, Policy Analyst, National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform
Amir Chapel is a Policy Analyst at NICJR. Amir coordinates projects and initiatives, often with local government agencies or other stakeholders. Amir conducts research on policies, programs, strategies, and organizations in the fields of criminal and juvenile justice, youth development, violence reduction, organizational development, and other relevant areas through the collection and analysis of data. Amir also coordinates legislative and policy advocacy initiatives. Amir has been directly impacted by the criminal justice system as a formerly incarcerated person who is dedicated to improving the outcomes of those that cannot advocate for themselves.

Aili Malm, Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice, California State University, Long Beach
Dr. Aili Malm is a Professor in the School of Criminology, Criminal Justice and Emergency Management at California State University, Long Beach. She is interested in the assessment and evaluation of policing strategies and intelligence. She has worked as a PI or Co-PI for over $6 million in grants. She has published over 40 research articles and two books including Disrupting Criminal Networks with Gisela Bichler, and Cops, Cameras and Crisis with Mike White. She has also worked with several police departments across the globe, including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, British Home Office, Danish National Police, and numerous local departments across the United States.

Amy Watson, Professor, Helen Bader School of Social Welfare, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Dr. Watson is a professor at Helen Bader School of Social Welfare at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  Professor Watson has worked extensively on issues involving the relationship between the criminal justice system and mental health systems in Chicago and around the country. Her research has focused on police encounters with persons with mental illnesses, the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) model, and opportunities to reduce police involvement.  Dr. Watson has published extensively on this work and presented findings to local, national, and international audiences.

911 Hotline Alternatives

Co-Chairs

Jasmine Desiderio, Deputy Director of Albuquerque Community Safety Department, City of Albuquerque, New Mexico
Jasmine Desiderio previously served as the Project Director of a Native American Youth Suicide Prevention program, where her roles included strategic action planning, policymaking, program development and evaluation, community outreach and engagement, data surveillance, grant administration and training facilitation. Desiderio brings eight years of experience in coordinating multidisciplinary, interservice and interagency teams to strategically design and implement injury prevention services ranging from crisis intervention, suicide prevention and postvention programs in northwestern New Mexico. She is currently in the Organization, Information and Learning Sciences Ph.D. program at the University of New Mexico. Her research interest focuses on applying innovative methods of human performance technology, organizational development, and evaluation research to address adversities amongst marginalized populations. Desiderio holds a Master of Arts in Professional Counseling and Guidance from New Mexico Highlands University, and a Bachelor of Arts in both Psychology and Criminology from the University of New Mexico.

Moki Macias, Executive Director, Policing Alternatives & Diversion
Moki Macias is the executive director at the Policing Alternatives and Diversion Initiative (PAD), which started as a pre-arrest diversion program in Atlanta for people detained for violations related to substance use, mental health, or extreme poverty. She says developing a non-police public safety response requires determining what drives police involvement in the first place. Prior to this position, Moki served as an Instructor for the Region IV Public Health Training Center. Moki Macias earned a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Mt. Holyoke College and a Master of City Planning in Land & Community Development from Georgia Institute of Technology.

Mary Naoum, Crisis Response Design Consultant, Policing Alternatives & Diversion Initiative
Mary Naoum serves Policing Alternatives & Diversion Initiative (PAD) through her role as Crisis Response Design Consultant. Mary has spent many years in relationship with communities directly impacted by over-policing and incarceration, particularly towards efforts to reimagine community safety and wellness using artistic expression and grassroots advocacy. Most recently, she supported the development of a Detroit-based social justice fund, helping steward a community-defined grantmaking strategy focused on moving significant resources to community organizing led by Black, Indigenous and people of color. Mary received her master’s degrees in Public Policy and Social Work from the University of Michigan, and is most passionate about moving forward tangible, community-driven solutions that are boldly designed to transform local systems.

Mariela Ruiz-Angel, Director of Albuquerque of Albuquerque Community Safety Department, City of Albuquerque, New Mexico
Mariela Ruiz-Angel is a proud Chicana, born and raised in the border city of El Paso, Texas. She understands the needs of diverse communities and works to empower, educate, and advocate for all Burqueños. Prior to her appointment as Director of ACS, Ruiz-Angel was the City Coordinator for the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs (OIRA). In her new role leading the third branch of public safety, Ruiz-Angel is working to ensure that the department follows through with its mission of advocating and promoting a citywide culture that values the voices of all residents. She brings to the City of Albuquerque an extensive background in education, business development, and corporate customer relations. Ruiz-Angel holds a Master of Business Administration in Human Resources and a Master of Social Work in Leadership and Administration.

Members

Victor Armstrong, Chief Health Equity Officer, North Carolina DHHS
Victor Armstrong serves as North Carolina DHHS Chief Health Equity Officer, with responsibility for leading the overarching strategy and operational goals to promote health equity, diversity, and inclusion across all the agency’s health and human services. Victor joined NC DHHS as ‪Director of the NC Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, Substance Abuse Services in March of 2020. Prior to accepting this role, Victor spent six years as Vice President of Behavioral Health with Atrium Health. Based in Charlotte, NC Victor had responsibility for operations of Atrium’s largest behavioral health hospital, Behavioral Health Charlotte. Victor currently serves on the board of directors for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) of NC. He is also former board chair of NAMI NC, and a member of National Association of Social Workers (NASW). Victor is a former member of the board of directors of National Council for Behavioral Health, i2i Center for Integrative Health, and RI International.

Phil Ashlock, Director of Data & Analytics, GSA Technology Transformation Services
Phil Ashlock creates digital civic infrastructure to support open government and civic engagement. He’s spearheaded community-driven civic technology initiatives with global reach like the Open311 standard for interacting with government through an open feedback channel. Currently he leads the Data & Analytics portfolio in the GSA Technology Transformation Services Division and serves as the Chief Architect for Data.gov where he oversees an open development process and a federated architecture supporting open data and APIs across government. Previously, he served as a Presidential Innovation Fellow working with the GSA and the White House Office of Digital Strategy. Before joining government, Phil was at OpenPlans, a civic tech non-profit where he served as the Open Government Program Manager and established the Open311 initiative. Open311 is a standard for publicly reporting and tracking civic issues and is now implemented by dozens of cities around the world. Through a partnership between OpenPlans and Code for America he then co-founded Civic Commons, a pilot initiative to help governments share technology and their experience using it.

Martin Bennett, Executive Director, Cook County Sheriff’s Police 911 Center
Martin Bennett is Executive Director of Emergency Communications/911 Center at the Cook County’s Sheriff’s Department. Martin’s experience includes redesign of two PSAPs, upgrade of Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD), cybersecurity, procurement, and implementation of NG911 services, hiring/recruitment, network infrastructure and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) development. Martin earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and Political Science from MacMurray College and master’s degree in Emergency Management from Jacksonville State University.

Tim Black, Director of Consulting, White Bird Clinic
Tim Black is director of consulting for White Bird Clinic in Eugene, Oregon. His primary focus is on development and support of behavioral health first-response programming in North America, based on the CAHOOTS (Crisis Assistance Helping Out On the Streets) model run by the clinic. He is an experienced professional with extensive background in direct service, harm reduction and mobile crisis intervention. Black began working with White Bird Clinic in 2010 as a crisis intervention worker. He served as CAHOOTS operations coordinator from 2014 to 2020, overseeing the day-to-day operations of CAHOOTS, as well as relationships with local and national media, consultation, program development and expansion, fundraising, and communication and coordination with local and state government agencies. Prior to his work with CAHOOTS, Black worked with Looking Glass Community Services; with SageWalk, The Wilderness School; with the Northwest Youth Corps; as an Americorps volunteer; and with a youth environmental conservation program.

Greg Bloom, Founder, Open Referral Initiative
Greg Bloom is the founder of Open Referral, which is promoting open access to information about the health, human, and social services available to people in need. He is a strategic advisor on community resources and engagement for the Gravity Project. He is also a visiting scholar at Indiana University’s Ostrom Workshop on the Commons. Previously, Greg managed communications for Bread for the City in DC. He has been a fellow with Provisions Library and Civic Hall Labs, and has published writing in In These Times, Civic Quarterly, Personal Democracy Forum, and Code for America’s Beyond Transparency.

David Covington, CEO & President, RI International
David Covington serves as CEO and president of RI International, is an owner of Behavioral Health Link, and leads the international initiatives Crisis Now and Zero Suicide. He is a two-time national winner of the Council of State Governments Innovations Award, in 2008 with the Georgia Crisis & Access Line and again in 2012 with Magellan Health. For five consecutive years, he competed as a national finalist in innovations award competitions, including Harvard University’s Innovations in American Government in 2009. Mr. Covington has served as a member of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention since it was created in 2010, co-chairing task forces on clinical care and crisis services. He has served as vice chair of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline SAMHSA steering committee since it was created in 2005 and as the clinical division chair of the American Association of Suicidology since 2014. He served on the National Council for Behavioral Health board of directors from 2011 to 2014 and the Relias Learning Behavioral Health Advisory Board from 2014 to 2016.

Vinny Eng, Director of Policy and Advocacy, Safer Together SF Bay Area

Susan Frankel, Chief Executive Officer, National Runaway Safeline
Susan Frankel is an experienced Chief Executive Officer with a demonstrated history of working in the non-profit organization management industry. Susan is skilled in Nonprofit Organizations, Customer Insight, Business Planning, Event Planning, and Sales, and withholds strong business development professional with a Master of Social Services Administration focused on Social Services & Public Policy from University of Chicago. Prior to their Chief Executive Officer position, Susan served as President & CEO of a nonprofit named Crayons to Computers.

Kevin Hall, Assistant Chief, Tucson Police Department, Arizona
Assistant Chief Kevin Hall is a thirty-year member of the Tucson Police Department, joining the department in 1992. He has held the position of patrol officer, detective, patrol sergeant, SWAT sergeant, investigative sergeant, patrol lieutenant, Field Services Bureau Executive Officer, patrol captain, and now assistant chief. He has worked in various assignments within the department to include Operations Divisions South, Midtown, East, the Gang Unit, Physical Child Abuse Unit, Internal Affairs, Homicide, and the Home Invasion/Kidnapping Unit. Assistant Chief Hall developed and implemented a comprehensive pre-arrest deflection program in 2018 in Tucson for both misdemeanor and felony non-violent charges associated with substance misuse.

Jason Hernandez, Executive Director of Intergovernmental Relations, Cook County Sherriff’s Department
Jason Hernandez currently serves as Executive Director of Intergovernmental Relations for Cook County Sherriff’s Department as of September 2021. Prior to this position, Jason was Director of Government Affairs for Reyes Kurson, Ltd and Chief of Staff to Alderman Deborah Mell for the City of Chicago. Jason Hernandez has earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Government and Communication and Media Studies from Loyola University Chicago.

Richard LaPratt, Member, 211 Database and Technology Director, United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania

Jason Renaud, Program Coordinator, Law & Mental Health Conference
Jason Renaud is a Program Coordinator for the Law & Mental Health Conference and Board Officer for the Mental Health Association of Portland. Prior to this position, Jason devoted their efforts in research and development for an organization named Compassion & Choices. Jason Renaud earned a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from The Evergreen State College, and a master’s degree in Public Administration from Portland State University.

Raymond Schwartz, Co-President, NAMI New York City Metro
Raymond Schwartz is a highly skilled nonprofit executive and manager with a deep knowledge of health care policy and over 35 years of experience in the mental health field. For over 20 years, first as associate executive director and then as executive director, Raymond guided Venture House, an accredited and respected New York City Clubhouse, to successfully support people with a serious mental illness to live in their community at the same time meeting the challenges of a changing health care financing environment. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Coalition of Behavioral Health Care Agencies and the NY State Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services (NYAPRS). Raymond is a member of the faculty for Clubhouse International. He holds a certificate in Non-Profit Management from Columbia University School of Business and a master’s degree in Cultural Anthropology from New York University.

Jaime D. Young, Consultant, Mission Critical Partners, LLC
Jaime’s career has spanned 40 years in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she gained expertise in public safety communications management, including, administration, operations, technical systems, and personnel management in municipal and county government. She served on the California State 911 Advisory Board, the Executive Board of the California Chapter of NENA and is the current representative from the Public Safety Dispatch Advisory Council to the California Commission on Peace Officer’s Standards and Training.  She is currently a consultant with Mission Critical Partners LLC, working with 911 and public safety clients to address a variety of challenges that impact their ability to optimize desired performance and outcomes.

Research Delegates

Amir Chapel, Policy Analyst, National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform
Amir Chapel is a Policy Analyst at NICJR. Amir coordinates projects and initiatives, often with local government agencies or other stakeholders. Amir conducts research on policies, programs, strategies, and organizations in the fields of criminal and juvenile justice, youth development, violence reduction, organizational development, and other relevant areas through the collection and analysis of data. Amir also coordinates legislative and policy advocacy initiatives. Amir has been directly impacted by the criminal justice system as a formerly incarcerated person who is dedicated to improving the outcomes of those that cannot advocate for themselves.

Soledad McGrath, Executive Director, Northwestern Neighborhood & Network Initiative (N3)
Soledad A. McGrath is a Research Professor at Northwestern University’s Institute for Policy Research and the Executive Director of the Northwestern Neighborhood & Network Initiative (N3). Prior to joining Northwestern, she was a Senior Program Officer in the Gun Violence Prevention & Justice Reform Program at the Joyce Foundation where she developed and led the foundation’s justice reform strategy, which included a focus on policing, criminal justice reform, and violence prevention. Prior to joining the Joyce Foundation, McGrath was a Program Officer with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Justice Reform program and was a member of a multidisciplinary team that designed and implemented its criminal justice reform strategy – a more than $200 million initiative focusing on a network of jurisdictions throughout the country targeting excessive and unjust incarceration at the local level. She led the foundation’s efforts to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in the justice system.

Amy Watson, Professor, Helen Bader School of Social Welfare, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Dr. Watson is a professor at Helen Bader School of Social Welfare at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Professor Watson has worked extensively on issues involving the relationship between the criminal justice system and mental health systems in Chicago and around the country. Her research has focused on police encounters with persons with mental illnesses, the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) model, and opportunities to reduce police involvement.  Dr. Watson has published extensively on this work and presented findings to local, national, and international audiences.

Emergency Communications Center Operations

Co-Chairs

Edwin F. Huellstrounk, RN, BSN, NREMT-Paramedic, ECRN, TNCC, CEN, Emergency Room Nurse for Edward-Elmhurst Hospital in Naperville, IL
Edwin F. Huellstrounk is currently an Emergency Room Nurse for Edward-Elmhurst Hospital in Naperville, IL. Edwin started his career in 1994 as a volunteer on the Montgomery Countryside Fire Protection District in Montgomery, IL. He became a paramedic and later achieved the rank of Captain. While on the department, he was a key part in advancing effective communications between the 911 dispatch center and the department. Edwin went on to become the EMS System Coordinator for the Southern Fox Valley EMS System of Northwestern Medicine – Delnor Hospital, Geneva, IL., as well as being firefighter and paramedic. As coordinator, Edwin was in charge of the five 911 dispatch centers and twenty Fire/EMS Departments. As coordinator he was responsible for the education and EMS regulations of both departments.

Chad Kasmar, Chief of Police, Tucson, Arizona, Education
Chief Kasmar oversees the Department’s four bureaus: Patrol Services, Investigative Services, Administrative Services, and Special Services and Innovation. Prior to being appointed Chief in 2021, he served as Interim Director of the City’s Public Safety Communications Department, where he led efforts to stabilize the department, reducing attrition and increasing staffing while moving from a co-located but separate police and fire 911 call center to a consolidated 911 call center. As a captain in the Tucson Police Department Chief Kasmar served as Deputy Chief, as Chief of Staff, and as the Eastside Patrol Division Commander. As a lieutenant, he served as an Office of Internal Affairs (now Office of Professional Standards) Commander, and as a Westside Patrol Division Commander. As a sergeant and officer, he served in the Street Crime Interdiction Unit, Operations Division South Community Response Team, Operations Division Downtown, Operations Division Midtown, Bicycle Patrol, Operations Division South Solo Motor, and Hostage Crisis Team.

Tyrell Morris, Executive Director, Orleans Parish Communication District
Executive Director Morris came to Orleans Parish Communication District (OPCD) with more than 15 years of success leading operations within high profile diverse public, private and non-profit organizations. During that time, he experienced repeated success driving and leading large-scale operations to ensure standards of excellence and business prosperity. Mr. Morris is a consummate communicator with expertise in cross-functional collaboration and the ability to ensure buy-in and engagement from all stakeholders. After becoming Executive Director of OPCD, Mr. Morris recognized an opportunity to challenge his staff to consistently seek ways to be their best selves during each and every shift, and so developed the acronym, SHOWUP (S-Sincere, H-Honest, O-Optimistic, W-Well-informed, U-Upbeat, and P-Procedurally compliant). The development of SHOWUP and the buy-in from OPCD staff has been a key factor in enabling OPCD to provide the citizens of New Orleans with top-notch emergency and non-emergency services when they need them most.

Members

Alicia Atkinson, Quality Assurance and Training Coordinator, Regional Emergency Dispatch Center, Northbrook, IL
With over 15 years of experience in the 911 industry in both the public and private sector, Alicia Atkinson is currently the QA/Training Manager for Regional Emergency Dispatch (RED) Center in Northbrook, IL. RED Center serves as the dispatch center for fourteen fire departments in the near Chicago suburbs and Illinois MABAS Statewide and Special Teams responses.

Martin Bennett, Executive Director, Cook County Sheriff’s Police 911 Center
Martin Bennett is Executive Director of Emergency Communications/911 Center at the Cook County’s Sheriff’s Department. Martin’s experience includes redesign of two PSAPs, upgrade of Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD), cybersecurity, procurement, and implementation of NG911 services, hiring/recruitment, network infrastructure and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) development. Martin earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and Political Science from MacMurray College and master’s degree in Emergency Management from Jacksonville State University.

Ron Bruno, Executive Director, CIT International
Ron Bruno serves as the Executive Director of CIT International. Ron is a founding board member of the corporation and previously served as the corporation’s Second Vice President. Ron has been involved in CIT programing for over twenty years, serving the majority of his twenty-five-year law enforcement career as a CIT Officer, CIT Investigator, CIT Agency Coordinator, CIT Regional Coordinator, and as the State of Utah’s CIT Program Director. Ron has spoken nationally and internationally on crisis response system reform. Ron is an appointed member of the Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC). This committee, that was established by the 21st Century Cures Act, reports to the United States Congress to make recommendations for actions that federal departments can take to better coordinate the administration of mental health services for adults with serious mental illnesses and children with serious emotional disturbances.

Bill Duggan, Director, FreCom Dispatch Center, Florence, Colorado
Bill Duggan was appointed as director of FreCom dispatch center in Florence, Colorado in early 2020. He has been in public safety for over 30 years.  He has been a volunteer firefighter Lieutenant/Safety Officer, an Emergency Medical Technician, and graduated first in his class from the 1991 Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center while being a patrol officer for the City of Andover, Kansas.  Duggan became the 911 Director and the first Information technology director, serving with Andover for over 25 years.  He then took on a new challenge of a newly consolidated center in Lyon County, Kansas, and again a newly consolidated center in Cochise County, Arizona.

Donna L. Carrell, Training Manager, Northeast Oklahoma Enhanced 911 Trust Authority
Donna is the Training Manager for the Northeast Oklahoma Enhanced 911 Trust Authority. She began in Emergency Communications in 2011 as a frontline telecommunicator. She became a training officer and shift supervisor and accepted her current position as training manager in 2018.   Donna holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Missouri Southern State University and a master’s degree in Public Administration from Grand Canyon University.  Her passion is leadership, and she is most proud of her APCO certification as a Certified Public-Safety Executive (CPE). Her goal is to use her leadership skills to transform 911 into a partner that is deservedly recognized for the indispensable value it brings to the field of emergency services.

Don Champley, Deputy Director, Regional Emergency Dispatch (RED) Center
Don Champley started his career with the Regional Emergency Dispatch (RED) Center in Northbrook, Illinois in 1999. He was promoted to Deputy Director in 2020. He has a total of 35 years of experience in public safety with most of that time spent in the fire service where he has held every rank from Firefighter to Assistant Chief.

Margaret Fine, Chair, Mental Health Commission for the City of Berkeley, California
Margaret Fine serves as Chair of the Mental Health Commission and as a Mental Health Commissioner for the City of Berkeley. She is appointed to the Reimagining Public Safety Task Force for the City of Berkeley. Previously she served as a Deputy City Attorney in the Child Welfare Unit for the City of Philadelphia Law Department. Margaret Fine received her JD from the George Washington University Law School, MSc in Human Rights & Criminal Justice from Queen’s University Belfast, and PhD in Sociology from the University of Liverpool.

Audace Garnett, Technology Safety Project Manager, Safety Net at The National Network to End Domestic Violence
Audace Garnett has over a decade of experience working in New York City with victims of domestic violence. She began her career in 2004 as a disability advocate at a non-profit organization named Barrier Free Living. Audace has also worked at the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office where she served as the Teen Services Coordinator in the Victim Services Unit. She was the liaison between survivors 24 and under the police department, courts, schools, and community organizations. After six years at the district attorney’s office, she then went on to prevention and intervention work at a Teen Dating Violence prevention and intervention program named Day One where she trained adult professionals around the intersection of teen dating violence and domestic sex trafficking. She is currently a Technology Safety Specialist with Safety Net at NNEDV, where she focuses specifically on the intersection between domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and technology.

Kelle Hall, Communications Manager for the town of Highland Park, Texas
Kelle Hall is a Communications Manager for the town of Highland Park, Texas where they manage and direct the Highland park Department of Public Safety’s Emergency Communications Center. Prior to this position, Kelle worked as lieutenant for the Randall County Sheriff’s Office for 24 years. As lieutenant, Kelle oversaw the emergency communications center, warrants division, and records division and served as a Personnel and Training officer.

Kim Lettrick, Communications Manager, Southeast Communications Center
Kim Lettrick is the Communications Manager for Southeast Communications Center providing 911 and emergency dispatch service to Benton and Franklin Counties in Eastern Washington.  Kim has 34 years of experience as a 911 professional holding numerous positions within the field Dispatcher, Supervisor, Training Coordinator, Certified Training Officer, Criteria Based Dispatch Instructor, APCO Certified Training Officer instructor.

Erica Olsen, Safety Net Project Director, National Network to End Domestic Violence
Since joining NNEDV in 2007, Erica has advocated on behalf of survivors of gender-based violence by educating and advocating victim service providers, policymakers, and technology companies on issues of technology abuse, privacy, and victim safety. She has provided trainings to technologists, attorneys, law enforcement officials, victim advocates, and other practitioners in the United States and internationally. Through the Safety Net Project, Erica works with private industry, state, and federal agencies and international groups to improve safety and privacy for victims in this digital age. She regularly provides consultation to leading technology companies on the potential impact of technology design and reporting procedures on survivors of abuse. She also provides technical assistance on technology safety to professionals working with survivors. Erica’s prior work at the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence included writing curriculum and training statewide on a project focusing on the intersection of domestic violence and disabilities. Erica has a MSW from SUNY Albany and a Certificate in Non-Profit Management from the Center for Women in Civil Society.

Carlena Orosco, Research and Planning Supervisor, Tempe Police Department, Arizona
Carlena Orosco, M.A. is a Doctoral Candidate in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Arizona State University. She is also employed full-time as the Research and Planning Supervisor in the Strategic Planning, Analysis & Research Center (SPARC) at Tempe Police Department. Prior to joining Tempe PD, she worked as a Senior Research Analyst for the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission, Statistical Analysis Center. Carlena has worked on research projects spanning numerous content areas, including de-escalation in policing, police dispatchers, community crime patterns, and law enforcement decision-making. Additionally, she worked for nine years as a dispatcher for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, where she also served as an Acting Supervisor and Systems Monitor. Carlena’s subject-matter expertise in policing and crime analysis also led to her selection as a trainer for the UN-led effort to provide crime analysis instruction to new Crime Analysts in the Caribbean. She has also served as an Instructor for the Nature of Crime, Gangs, Crime Control Policies, Police Accountability, and Urban Crime Patterns courses. Currently, she is a research assistant on the ASU/Tempe PD SPI project under the guidance of Dr. Mike White. Carlena holds both a B.A. and M.A. in Criminal Justice from California State University, San Bernardino, and her work can be found in Policing: An International Journal, Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice, and the Journal of Criminal Justice.

Rick Pegues, Public Safety Communications Coordinator, Tucson, Arizona
A native of Peoria, IL, and graduate of Eastern Illinois University, Rick served in the  United States Air Force as Fire Protection Specialist, before transitioning to being an agent with the Office of Special Investigations. After tours in Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and Somalia, he retired from the USAF in 2013 and moved to Tucson, AZ, beginning a second career with the City of Tucson, Public Safety Communications Department. Initially a Fire Dispatcher, he was promoted to Supervisor in 2017 and subsequently to Coordinator in 2019. In that capacity, he began as training coordinator, and as a Certified Training Officer (CTO) before moving to Operations in 2021. His passion is serving the community at the frontline level by being active with his church, the Urban League, and the E.L.I.T.E youth outreach program.

Richard Ray, Co-Chair, NENA Accessibility Committee; Member, FCC Disability Advisory Committee
Richard Ray retired from the City of Los Angeles after serving over 35 years as an Americans with Disabilities Act Technology Access Coordinator to continue working in the field of Telecommunication Technologies, Emergency Services and advocating for civil rights of individuals who are deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing in all levels of government. He is actively involved as a co-chair of the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) Accessibility Committee and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Disability Advisory Committee.  He has served on the FCC various committees such as Text to 9-1-1, Real-Time Text to 9-1-1, Next Generation 9-1-1, Emergency Notification Systems, and other issues concerning communication access in support of federal, state, and local governments. He was named as one of the top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers and while featured in Government Technology Magazine in 2018. In 2019, he was inducted into NENA’s Hall of Fame.

Tony Ruffin, Co-Founder, Pillars and Bridges

Joe Smarro, Chief Executive Officer, SolutionPoint +, LLC
Joe Smarro is a decorated combat veteran from the United States Marine Corps. He honorably served two tours to Afghanistan and Iraq with the 1st Battalion 4th Marines. In 2005 he joined the San Antonio Police Department (SAPD), where he became one of the original members of SAPD’s Mental Health Unit, which Smarro helped to grow into a nationally recognized best practices policing unit. In addition to being one of the main subjects in the HBO documentary, ERNIE & JOE: CRISIS COPS, Smarro has been featured in multiple media outlets including the TEDx talk “I See You.” He is the founder and CEO of SolutionPoint+, a national training and consulting firm that focuses on cultivating mental wellness to maximize human capital and promote safety within organizations.

Kate Vander Wiede, Crisis Response and Prevention Project Manager, Allegheny County Department of Human Services
Kate Vander Wiede is a Crisis Response and Prevention Project Manager for Allegheny County Department of Human Services, working on projects in which traditional first responders interact with individuals with behavioral health and human service needs. Kate has a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Colorado Boulder and a master’s in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University.

Research Delegates

Brian Aagaard, Research Analyst, RTI International
Brian Aagaard, a member of our Policing Research Program, has extensive experience as a crime and intelligence analyst. Mr. Aagaard worked with law enforcement at the local, county, state, and federal levels for more than a decade. His areas of expertise include the collection, management, and analysis of law enforcement data. Mr. Aagaard’s current work focuses on the intersection of policing, technology, and analysis. He is particularly interested in the dynamics of law enforcement-community interactions, specifically during routine encounters such as traffic stops. Prior to joining RTI, Mr. Aagaard worked as an analyst at the Onondaga Crime Analysis Center in New York State, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation Intelligence Unit, and the City of Durham (North Carolina) Police Department. He is a member of the International Association of Crime Analysts and became an IACA certified law enforcement analyst in 2013.

Jessica W. Gillooly, Assistant Professor of Sociology & Criminal Justice, Suffolk University
Jessica Gillooly joined the Sociology & Criminal Justice Department at Suffolk University in the Fall of 2021. Before transitioning to Suffolk, she was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Policing Project at NYU School of Law. Dr. Gillooly’s research portfolio focuses on 911 dispatch, policing, organizations, and race. Central to this work is a large multi-method project about dispatch centers and the role the 911 system plays in the criminal justice system. Using a mix of quantitative, qualitative, and conversation analytic methods, she examines the process through which caller requests become police responses. One thread of her research examines the function of the 911 call-taker in mediating caller requests, and their impact on policing in the field. Another thread explores the public’s reliance on 911 and identifies potential organizational policy reforms aimed at rethinking the current dispatch-and-response system.

Jeremiah Johnson, Researcher; LEAD Scholar; Sergeant, Darien Police Department
Jeremiah Johnson is a policing researcher and practitioner, currently serving in a sworn capacity with the Darien Police Department in Connecticut. During his policing career Jeremiah has worked as a patrol officer, field training officer, accreditation manager, patrol sergeant, detective sergeant, and acting lieutenant. A former National Institute of Justice LEADS Scholar (Class of 2016), Jeremiah is an advocate for evidence-based policing and practitioner-led research. He is an appointed member of the Connecticut Sentencing Commission and is affiliated with the National Police Foundation in Washington DC where he proudly serves as a Policing Fellow. Jeremiah holds a BA in Sociology from Geneva College, an MS in Justice Administration from Western Connecticut State University, an MA in Criminal Justice from John Jay College, and a PhD in Criminal Justice from the City University of New York Graduate Center.

Rylan Simpson, Assistant Professor of Criminology, Simon Fraser University
Rylan Simpson is an Assistant Professor in the School of Criminology at Simon Fraser University. He received his Ph.D. in Criminology, Law and Society from the University of California, Irvine (UCI). Prior to receiving his Ph.D., he received his B.A. in Sociology and Psychology from the University of British Columbia and his M.A. in Social Ecology from UCI. He is the recipient of numerous awards for his policing scholarship and engagement with policing officials. He is also an executive counselor for the American Society of Criminology’s Division of Experimental Criminology, a member of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police’s Research Advisory Committee, and a mentor for the Canadian Society of Evidence-Based Policing’s Virtual Scholar Program.

911 Governance

Co-Chairs

Jerry Clayton, Sheriff, Washtenaw County, Michigan
Jerry L. Clayton is a 30+ year Public Safety Services professional, currently serving his fourth term as the Sheriff of Washtenaw County. Sheriff Clayton leads an organization of approximately 420 staff, serving a population of over 358,000, covering a 720-square mile geographical area. During his career with the Sheriff’s Office, Jerry served as a front-line Corrections Officer, Deputy Sheriff, and command officer. He was also appointed to the following executive positions; Corrections Commander, Police Services Commander and SWAT Team Commander). Sheriff Clayton serves on the boards of numerous local organizations. These include the Washtenaw Area Council for Children, the local Chapter of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), the Washtenaw County Mental Health Treatment Court Advisory Board, Washtenaw County Continuum of Care Board (ending homelessness) and the SafeHouse Center.

Stephanie Olson, Strategic Planning & Performance Manager, Raleigh, North Carolina
Stephanie Olson is the Strategic Planning & Performance Manager for the City of Raleigh. In this position, she is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the City’s 5-year Strategic Plan, departmental business planning, and organization-wide performance management efforts. Stephanie enjoys helping the City make strides in strategic and data-informed decision making. Over the past year, Stephanie has been leading the City of Raleigh’s efforts to review 911 calls for service and pilot and implement alternative responses.

Jeanne Milstein, Director for Human Services, City of New London, CT
Jeanne is currently the Director for Human Services in the City of New London. Prior to this position, Jeanne was Director of Special Projects and Staff Researcher at the Tow Youth Justice Institute, University of New Haven. She served as Connecticut’s Child Advocate from 2000 until 2012, an independent state agency responsible for overseeing the care and protection of children. Jeanne has led efforts to reform the foster care, juvenile justice and mental health systems for children and youth. In addition, Jeanne served as the Deputy Commissioner of Strategic Planning and Policy Development for the Office of Children and Family Services in New York State. Jeanne has also served as the Director of Government and Community Relations at the Department of Children and Families; Legislative Director at the Connecticut Commission on Children; Director of Government Relations at the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women; and Director of the Women’s Center of Southeastern Connecticut.

Members

Kurt August, Program Manager, Police-Assisted Diversion (PAD), City of Philadelphia
Kurt August, MSW, is the Interim Director for the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Criminal Justice. His work involves close collaboration with criminal justice partners and other City agencies to develop and implement policies designed to meaningfully address the racial, ethnic, and economic disparities in the criminal justice system. For the past 5 years, Kurt has worked at the intersection of the law enforcement and behavioral health communities by piloting a pre-booking diversion program, an Outreach focused Co-Responder pilot which embeds behavioral health professionals with law enforcement to collaboratively address quality of life issues in the Kensington/Harrowgate section of the City, and a 911 Triage Desk/Co-Responder model that embeds behavioral health professionals in the 911 Call Center to triage 911 calls and also pairs behavioral health professionals with CIT-trained police Officers in unmarked police vehicles in the field to address behavioral health calls that come in to the 911 Call Center in real time.

Peter Beckwith, General Counsel, South Sound 911
Peter Beckwith serves as General Counsel for South Sound 911, a regional consolidated PSAP/ECC in Washington State (Tacoma). He received his law degree from Seattle University School of Law and his undergraduate degree from Washington State University. Within the 911 profession he is a graduate of the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) Certified Public-Safety Executive (CPE) program and is an elected board member of the NG911 Institute.

Timothy Bergel, Director of Support Services, Cook County Sheriff’s Police
Timothy Bergel currently serves as the Director of Support Services for the Cook County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Communications Center. In his current role, Timothy oversees the Information Technology and GIS divisions within the ECC/9-1-1 and has served previously as a training instructor and communications supervisor. Timothy has nineteen years of public safety experience in emergency communications (2006-present) and emergency medical services (2003-2006). Timothy earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice from Benedictine University and a Master of Science Degree in Threat & Response Management from the University of Chicago – where he was named an Emerging Leader in Emergency Preparedness.

Daryl Branson, State 911 Program Manager, Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies
Daryl Branson currently serves as the State 911 Program Manager for the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies and is working with the staff of the Public Utilities Commission. He has worked as a public safety dispatcher, a shift supervisor, and Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) director in Missouri, Wisconsin, and New Mexico, and most recently served as the executive director of the Colorado 9-1-1 Resource Center. Daryl earned his MPA in Public Administration from Missouri State University, and is certified as an Emergency Number Professional by the National Emergency Number Association and a Registered Public Safety Communications Leader by the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials, Intl.

Richard Collins, Director of Emergency Services, Sarasota County Government
Richard Collins currently serves as Director of Emergency Services for Services, Sarasota County Government where they provide strategic direction, leadership and mentoring to Sarasota County emergency services departments including Fire Rescue, Emergency Management, Public Safety Communications, and Lifeguard Operations. Leads a high-performing team of public safety professionals and leaders in the delivery of emergency services to the residents and visitors of Sarasota County. Prior to this position, Richard held titles of Emergency Management Director and Fire Chief in Osceola County Government, Florida, for 9 years. Richard Collins earned a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Palm Beach Atlantic University. In totality, Richard has over 32 years of public safety experience in both Illinois and Florida.

Chris Fisher, Senior Advisor, Office of the United States Attorney General
Christopher Fisher is the Senior Advisor, Office of the United States Attorney General. Previously he served as the Chief Strategy Officer for the Seattle Police Department and was Senior Policy Advisor at the Council of State Governments Justice Center with a focus on law enforcement issues. Prior to the Justice Center, Chris worked throughout the New York City justice system. As Director of Analysis and Integrated Solutions in the New York City Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, he coordinated interagency efforts to solve criminal justice challenges. Chris has served in similar capacities for other New York City criminal justice agencies, including the New York City Police Department, the Department of Probation, the Administration for Children’s Services, and the former Department of Juvenile Justice. Chris holds a doctorate in criminal justice from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, a master’s degree in criminal justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from the University of Virginia.

Kris Henderson, Executive Director of Amistad Law Project
Kris Henderson is the Executive Director of Amistad Law Project. They grew up in East Orange, New Jersey– a majority Black, working class community. Their educational career began in East Orange’s underfunded schools, continued at a private Christian School, and led to boarding school in New England for high school. Their diverse educational experiences and the realization that a quality education is possible but often incredibly expensive, led them to work towards making sure we all have what we need. They are a movement lawyer, a co-founder of Amistad and a co-founding member of the Coalition to Abolish Death By Incarceration. They are on the steering committee of Free The Ballot! Incarcerated Voter Family Network and on the board of directors of Black Youth Project 100. They are a 2018 Law for Black Lives and Movement Law Lab Legal Innovators Fellow and a 2019 Soros Justice Fellow.

Jason Hernandez, Executive Director of Intergovernmental Relations, Cook County Sherriff’s Department
Jason Hernandez currently serves as Executive Director of Intergovernmental Relations for Cook County Sherriff’s Department as of September 2021. Prior to this position, Jason was Director of Government Affairs for Reyes Kurson, Ltd and Chief of Staff to Alderman Deborah Mell for the City of Chicago. Jason Hernandez has earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Government and Communication and Media Studies from Loyola University Chicago.

Sally Lawrence, E911 Coordinator, Sarasota County Public Safety Communications
Sally Lawrence, E911 Coordinator with Sarasota County, has been working Public Safety since joining the Military Police Corps in 1984. She made the jump to 911 in 1992 becoming operator with the Lakeland Police Department and working her way through the ranks to include trainer, supervisor, County 911 Training Coordinator, 911 Addressing Coordinator and 911 Systems Manager with Polk County. As the Systems Manager, Sally oversaw a robust Public Safety Information Technology and GIS system. During her 14 years as a Coordinator, she has also served as the Chair of the State of Florida’s Coordinator’s group and Legislative Liaison for Florida NENA and has instructed at 911 Coordinator Bootcamp. Sally moved to Sarasota County in 2017 to explore technology and to continue her career closer to the beach.

Tad McGalliard, Director for Research, Development, and Technical Assistance, IBM Center for the Business of Government
Tad McGalliard serves as ICMA’s director for research, development, and technical assistance with the International City/County Management Association. For the past 18 years, Tad has led programs, projects, and research on creating more sustainable and resilient communities. Prior to ICMA he worked with Cornell University’s Center for the Environment.

Paul Noel, Deputy Superintendent, Investigation & Support Bureau, New Orleans Police Department
Paul currently serves as Deputy Superintendent in the Investigation & Support Bureau of the New Orleans Police Department. Prior to this position, Paul served as Deputy Superintendent in the Field Operations Bureau for the New Orleans Police Department. Paul Noel earned a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice/Safety Studies and Master of Arts in Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Administration from Loyola University New Orleans.

Shannon Scully, Senior Advisor, Justice & Crisis Response Policy, National Alliance on Mental Illness
Shannon Scully is the Senior Advisor for Justice and Crisis Response Policy at NAMI, where she serves as a subject matter expert, providing strategic guidance across the organization regarding NAMI’s criminal justice, diversion and crisis response policy. She works closely with key federal agencies and Congress to advance NAMI’s priorities and supports leaders across the NAMI Alliance to increase their impact on local and state policies. Prior to joining NAMI, Ms. Scully worked for several other national non-profit organizations on various justice related issues. She began her criminal justice career supporting victims of crime in the county courts in Cook County, IL. Ms. Scully holds a bachelor’s degree from the College of St. Benedict, and a Master of Public Policy from American University.

Susan Shah, Managing Director, Trinity Church Wall Street
Susan Shah serves as the Managing Director for the Racial Justice Initiative with Trinity Church Wall Street Philanthropies. In this role, she oversees the philanthropic strategy, execution, and partnerships for the initiative. Susan is an experienced lawyer, public health professional, and policymaker in the areas of criminal justice, immigrant rights, and immigrant health. She was previously at the Vera Institute of Justice for over a decade and served in a number of roles, her final being the Director of Programs and Strategy. In this role, she led the national organization with 200+ staff in partnering with local, state, and federal government officials to ensure that justice systems protect human dignity and strengthen communities. Prior to joining Vera, Susan ran immigrant health programs in NYC and practiced immigration law. Susan earned her BA in journalism from Drake University, an MPH from Tufts University, and a JD from Northeastern University School of Law.

Cornelia Sigworth, Supervisory Program Manager (Associate Deputy Director), Bureau of Justice Assistance
Cornelia Sigworth currently serves as the Associate Deputy Director with the US Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, a post she has held since July 2014. In this capacity, Ms. Sigworth directs the BJA’s law enforcement team including its partnerships with local, state, and national policymakers and their efforts to combat crime and reform the criminal justice system. Ms. Sigworth previously served in a variety of capacities within BJA including most recently as the Senior Advisor to the Deputy Director for Policy and Director of the Violence Reduction Network. Ms. Sigworth began her career with The Department at the National Institute of Justice, where she managed national research, evaluation, and program development. Ms. Sigworth holds a bachelor’s degree from Northern Arizona University and a M.S. in Justice, Law, and Society from American University. She is a graduate of the Department of Justice’s Leadership Excellence and Achievement Program and is a recipient of the Assistant Attorney General’s Dedicated Service Award.

Evonne Silva, Senior Director, Criminal Justice, Code for America
Evonne is the Senior Program Director of Criminal Justice, where she leads a team that works alongside communities and government to transform the way services are delivered to those impacted by the criminal legal system. Most recently, Evonne held leadership positions with the ACLU of Northern California, as a legal advisor, building and leading teams, driving process improvement and systems changes, and managing complex, collaborative projects. She has successfully designed and led policy advocacy campaigns across a range of issues with cross-sector stakeholders at several nonprofit advocacy and legal organizations.  Evonne is a licensed attorney who holds a Juris Doctorate from UCLA School of Law and a bachelor’s degree in politics and economics from Saint Mary’s College of California. She also serves as board member of CORO of Northern California and taught legal ethics at U.C. Berkeley School of Law.

Anise Vance, Assistant Director, Community Safety, Durham, North Carolina
Anise Vance serves as the Open Data Program Manager for the City and County of Durham. Previously, he was the Senior Manager of Research in Race and Equity at the Boston Foundation. He holds an M.Phil. in Geography from Queen’s University Belfast, an MFA in Creative Writing from Rutgers University, and a B.A. from Dartmouth College.

Ken Zimmerman, Founder and Co-Director, Mental Health Strategic Impact Initiative (S2i)
Ken Zimmerman is founder and co-director of the Mental Health Strategic Impact Initiative (S2i). He is also a Distinguished Fellow at NYU’s Furman Center and a Distinguished Fellow at the Jed Foundation. Previously, he served as director of U.S. programs for the Open Society Foundations and in the Obama and Clinton administrations. Previously, he served as a member of the Obama Administration’s HUD transition team as Senior Advisor to HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. In addition, he was a litigation partner for the pro bono practice group at Lowenstein Sandler, Chief Counsel to New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, and founding Executive Director of the New Jersey Institute of Social Justice. A graduate of Yale and Harvard Law School, Ken also serves as a Distinguished Fellow at the NYU Furman Center and teaches at NYU’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

Research Delegates

Roseanna Ander, Executive Director, University of Chicago Crime Lab and Education Lab
Roseanna Ander serves as the founding Executive Director of the University of Chicago Crime Lab (since 2008) and the University of Chicago Education Lab (since 2011) with offices in Chicago and New York, which work to design, test, and scale data-driven programs and practices that improve the public sector’s approach to public safety and education. Since their inception, Ander has led the Crime Lab and Education Lab’s efforts on violence prevention, criminal justice reform, and improved educational outcomes in Chicago, New York, and around the nation. Ander also helped launch the University of Chicago Urban Labs network, with the creation of three new, independently run labs focused on poverty, health, and the environment. Ander was also key to navigating police training and reform efforts within the Chicago Police Department (CPD), including the Crime Lab’s study of CPD’s Officer Support System: a first-of-its-kind, data-driven early intervention system that flags officer at risk for adverse events and provides training and support to help avert tragic incidents between police and residents before they occur.

Ayesha Delany-Brumsey, Director, Behavioral Health, The Council of State Governments
Dr. Ayesha Delany-Brumsey oversees the Behavioral Health Division and its various portfolios, which focus on how parts of the criminal justice system intersect with the mental health, substance addiction, and homelessness systems, among others. Before joining the organization, Ayesha was most recently the director of Behavioral Health Research and Programming at the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice in New York City. Prior to that, she was the director of the Substance Use and Mental Health program at the Vera Institute. She received her PhD in clinical psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Jesse Jannetta, Senior Policy Fellow, Justice Policy Center, Urban Institute
Jesse Jannetta is a senior policy fellow in the Justice Policy Center at the Urban Institute, where he leads projects on prison and jail reentry, community antigang and antiviolence initiatives, police-community relations, parole and probation supervision, and risk prediction. He is the project director for the Safety and Justice Challenge Innovation Fund, the principal investigator for the Evaluation of Procedural Justice in Probation project, and a member of the leadership team for the Prison Research and Innovation Initiative. He was previously project director for the Transition from Jail to Community initiative, the process and fidelity assessment lead for the evaluation of the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice, and coprincipal investigator for evaluations of the Los Angeles Gang Reduction and Youth Development strategy and the Chicago Violence Reduction Strategy. He applies mixed methods approaches to process and impact evaluations and provides direct technical assistance to jurisdictions improving justice system functioning.

David Muhammed, Director, The National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (NICJR)
David Muhammad is a leader in the fields of criminal justice, violence prevention, and youth development. David is the Executive Director of the National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (NICJR). David has worked to implement positive youth development into youth justice systems around the country and was the primary author of NICJR’s seminal report, A Positive Youth Justice System. For three years, David was extensively involved in developing a detailed reform plan for the Los Angeles County Probation Department, the largest probation department in the country. He also served as the technical assistance provider for the Sierra Health Foundation’s Positive Youth Justice Initiative, providing training and consulting to several California probation departments. NICJR is currently serving as a technical assistance provider to the City and County of San Francisco, working to reform its juvenile justice system and close its juvenile detention center.

911 Technology and Infrastructure

Co-Chairs

Michael Cowden, Director of Solutions Engineering, Code for America
Michael Cowden is the Director of Solutions Engineering at Code for America. He currently works with government stakeholders, and their existing state infrastructure, to find achievable technology and policy solutions for implementing Clean Slate legislation. Prior to joining Code for America, Michael successfully led and developed large software projects across start-ups, Fortune 500 companies and the Federal Government.  He holds a degree in Psychology and Computer Science from Towson University and currently resides in Washington, D.C.

Meredith Horowski, Senior Director, Network, Code for America
Meredith Horowski is the Senior Director for the Code for America Network. Meredith is an experienced campaigner with particular expertise in grassroots organizing and in creating powerful, diverse movements on pressing social issues. Prior to joining Code for America, she was the Campaign Manager for a 2018 gubernatorial campaign in Rhode Island. As an independent consultant, she led US strategy for the civic tech firm New/Mode and provided strategic support to NetChange Consulting. Meredith founded Beyond the Bomb—a grassroots organization to end systems of nuclear violence. She also served for four years as the Global Campaign Director at Global Zero, where she spearheaded GZ’s international advocacy strategy, creative campaigns, and public mobilization. She’s written for outlets including Teen Vogue, The Nation, and Huffington Post.

Members

Jim Bueermann, Retired President, National Police Foundation
Chief Jim Bueermann (Ret.) has spent more than 40 years in policing. From 1978 to 2011 he was a member of the Redlands (CA) Police Department, where he served in every unit within the department. In his last 13 years with the department, he was the Chief of Police and Director of Housing, Recreation and Senior Services. He directed the implementation and strategic development of community policing in Redlands which included directing the consolidation of Housing, Recreation and Senior Services into the police department as a risk and preventative factor strategy for reducing crime and adolescent problem behavior. In 2000, this effort was recognized by the Innovations in American Government Award program (Harvard’s Kennedy School) as one of the 25 most innovative governmental programs in America. After his retirement in 2011 he worked for a year for the USDOJ, National Institute of Justice as an Executive Fellow.

Brian Dunkle, Regional Sales Manager, Deccan International
Accomplished executive with a sales and management background in multiple governmental and commercial industries. A recognized ability to enhance and revitalize a division, company, or organization through the identification of new market opportunities utilizing existing products or organizational skill sets. A verifiable track record of building territories, increasing sales, and implementing operational improvements to increase productivity and reduce operating costs.

Christine Gardiner, Professor of Criminal Justice, California State University, Fullerton
Christie Gardiner is a Professor of Criminal Justice at California State University, Fullerton, and a Senior Research Fellow for the Police Foundation, as well as a member of CSUF-PD Chief’s Advisory Board. She is a certified Crime and Intelligence Analyst with prior work experience as a sheriff’s department crime analyst, a police dispatcher, a police explorer, and an intern probation officer.  Her fields of expertise include policing and crime policy. She has conducted two major studies on the role of higher education in policing – one on California, the other National – as well as studies on public opinions of police and crime policies and a variety of research projects for local agencies.  She has edited multiple books and authored numerous articles, book chapters, and an introduction to policing textbook (Policing for the 21st Century: Realizing the Vision of Police in a Free Society).

Ben Horwitz, Co-Founder, AH Datalytics
Ben is a nationally recognized expert in data-driven policy management and criminal justice data systems. Ben’s work has been instrumental in analyzing organizational problems, evaluating possible solutions, and building data-driven organizations. Before launching AH Datalytics, Ben worked as the Director of Analytics for the New Orleans Police Department, where he instituted a crime analyst unit and implemented the nationally recognized Management Analytics for Excellence (MAX). This platform assists in optimizing police management in the areas of crime, community policing, consent decree compliance, and much more. Ben’s influential collaborations have been with the U.S. Department of Justice, National Police Foundation, Ferguson Missouri Police Department, Puerto Rico Police Bureau, the Baltimore Police Department, and others. Ben has a master’s degree in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University that specializes in the intersection of data, information systems, and public policy. Ben holds a Bachelor of Arts from American University.

Jerry Hall, Founder, Civic Mapping
Jerry Hall is a serial entrepreneur currently focused on improving meaningful informed-stakeholder engagement at the intersections of the criminal-legal and behavioral health systems. Jerry served on the San Diego County Behavioral Health Advisory Board for five years and blogs about improving behavioral health stakeholder engagement. Jerry advocates for open and transparent government, especially in the areas of public records and data access. He has served in multiple capacities in community elected and other civic boards, commissions, and workgroups. Jerry is also a CalVoices ACCESS Ambassador advocating from a lived-experience trauma-informed perspective for those released from incarceration while also experiencing mental health and substance use disorder issues.

Billy Lim, Senior Organizer, Code for America
Billy is a Senior Organizer at Code for America. From a career in civic organizing, political campaigns, and leadership development, he holds deep conviction in the potential of government to support the flourishing of everyday people and the role of grassroots, people-powered movements to effect and reflect the world of our dreams. An advocate for equity in public service for Asian Americans and ally communities, Billy serves as Chair Emeritus of the Board of Directors for the Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership (CAPAL). He is a proud son of Cambodian refugees and was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies from Yale University, where he was a recipient of the Mellon Mays & President’s Public Service fellowships.

Kevin Miller, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Microsoft Justice Reform Initiative
Kevin Miller is the Director of Strategic Partnerships for Microsoft’s Justice Reform Initiative. In this capacity, Kevin leads grantmaking strategy and manages Microsoft’s engagement with justice reform organizations and justice system stakeholders across the US, working toward improved racial equity in the criminal legal system. Before joining the Justice Reform Initiative, Kevin leads national and local partnerships at Microsoft designed to bring technology and data to bear on social issues facing US cities. Prior to Microsoft, he held various roles across the public and nonprofit sector at the intersection of technology and social impact. Kevin holds a BA in political science from UC Berkeley and Master of Public Policy degree from American University.

Micah Mutrux, 911 National Action Team Program Manager, Code for America
Micah currently serves as 911 National Action Team Program Manager for Code for America where they assist in establishing and leading Code for America’s first National Action Team, focused on reimagining 911 emergency response. In the past, Micah was a fellow for Aspen Tech Policy Hub and Volunteer Team Lead for U.S. Digital Response. Micah earned a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Marlboro College and completed a certificate of Project Leadership and Management and Business Management from Cornell University.

Jesse Niwa, Deployment Engineer, SPIDR,

George Rice, Managing Partner, SkyHawk Global
George Rice is a Managing Partner at Skyhawk Global Associates. He has a diverse background covering 35 years in public service and global engagement. He is a former American enforcement and intelligence agent and has headed a series of programs and organizations directed at public sector and emergency services efforts, with a focus on the technologies that enhance these vital interests. He is the former Executive Director of the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International and the Industry Council for Emergency Response Technologies (iCERT), leading both organizations into significant growth periods.

Dave Sehnert, Director of Strategy and Partnerships, NG911, RapidSOS
Dave Sehnert serves as Director of Strategy and Partnerships for RapidSOS in conjunction with Commissioner at the NG911 Interoperability Oversight Commission. Prior to these positions, Dave worked as Director of the Innovation and Integration sector of Mission Critical Partners. Dave Sehnert earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Management from Albion College and a Master of Science in Information and Communications Sciences from Ball State University. Since April of 2014, Dave is certified by NENA as an Emergency Number Professional.

Scott Sobotka, Primary Consultant, Pragmatica, LLC
Scott currently serves as Primary Consultant for Pragmatica where they develop software with a specialization in law enforcement, criminal justice, and corrections at all levels of government. Prior to this position, Scott was Senior Software Engineer for NetPro Computing where they developed system monitoring and administration tools for Netware and Active Directory. In the past, Scott has worked for Hypercom Network Systems as a Software Developer and developed network administration applications for Hypercom’s line of network devices.

Sema Taheri, Director of Research Operations, Measures for Justice
Sema Taheri is the Director of Research & Strategic Initiatives at Measures for Justice. In her role, Sema collaborates with the Engagement team to develop MFJ’s data collection protocol, co-manages the development and implementation of a rigorous methodology for data management, and directs the general operations of the Research team. She also collaborates closely with MFJ’s leadership to advance the organization’s research agenda. Sema has worked closely with practitioners across the system on projects related to data standards, performance measure development, and evaluation. Sema holds a Ph.D. in Criminology & Justice Policy from Northeastern University and a M.A. in Criminology & Criminal Justice from Loyola University Chicago. Her research interests include understanding the research and practice gap and the development of partnerships to guide data-led policy, institutional and community corrections, offender reentry, CJ organizations, and program evaluation.

Research Delegates

Loren Atherley, Director of Performance Analytics & Research, Seattle Police Department
Loren currently serves as Director of Performance Analytics & Research for the Seattle Police Department. As a Director for the Seattle Police Department, Loren manages three complimentary programs (Research, Data Warehousing and Data Governance) to discover new insights, develop new methods and operationalize those findings to improve the delivery of police services. Prior to this position, Loren was an adjunct Professor of Criminal Justice at Seattle University. Loren earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Master of Arts in Criminal Justice from Seattle University. Loren in currently pursuing a PhD in Criminology at the University of Cambridge.

Jake Cramer, Senior Researcher, Policing Analytics and Strategy, RTI International
Dr. Jake Cramer is a Senior Policing Researcher with RTI International, where he supports multiple privately and federally funded projects focused on improving police responses to 911 calls for service, use of force data collection and reporting, and improving the national use of NIBRS data. Prior to joining RTI, Dr. Cramer served as the Analysis Administrator the Tucson Police Department, where he was responsible for creating and leading the Analysis Division. As administrator, he was recognized for his work with multiple state and national awards, including an Arizona Innovator Award, the 40 Under 40 Award by IACP, and was the first civilian to be selected by NIJ to be a LEADS fellow. Dr. Cramer has more than 10 years of experience, and received his Ph.D., and M.A., from the University of Arizona, and received his B.A., from Syracuse University.

Robin Engel, Professor of Criminal Justice, University of Cincinnati
Dr. Robin S. Engel is a Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Cincinnati. She also serves as the Director of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP)/UC Center for Police Research and Policy. Dr. Engel engages in research and evaluation in the field of criminal justice and works directly with practitioners to implement evidence-based strategies and best practices. Dr. Engel’s work includes establishing academic-practitioner partnerships in policing, with expertise in empirical assessments of police behavior, police use of force, police-minority relations, police supervision and management, criminal justice policies, criminal gangs, and crime reduction strategies. She has served as the Principal Investigator for over 80 contracts and grants, and has provided statistical and policy consulting for international, state, and municipal law enforcement agencies. She teaches in the areas of policing and criminal justice.

Dave McClure, Senior Principal, Police Executive Research Forum
Dave McClure is a Senior Principal at the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) in Washington, D.C. For more than 15 years. Dave has been working in different research, policy, and practice settings to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of justice systems through empirical research, science, data, and technology. Prior to joining PERF in 2019, Dave was a Research Associate in the Urban Institute’s Justice Policy Center, where he worked on different aspects of police body-worn cameras, DNA and other forensic sciences, open data from police and other government agencies, the opioid crisis, evidence-based smartphone applications, and many other topics involving science, data, and technology in the justice system. Dave earned his undergraduate degrees from the University of Georgia and his M.A. and Ph.D. from George Mason University. Dave has served as a member of Integrated Justice Information System Institute’s Information Technology and Architecture Committee since 2015.

Help us Transform911.

The Health Lab strives to improve public health, its impacts, and how it is discussed. If you identify an area of our work that you believe misses a critical perspective or employs language that needs improvement, please contact us at transform911@uchicago.edu. We welcome your feedback.

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