Assessing the Role of Neighborhood Service Centers in Baltimore's Non-Emergency Call System

Christine Famega, University of Cincinnati

This paper assesses the role that neighborhood service centers play in Baltimore's 3-1-1 system. In Baltimore select 3-1-1 calls are forwarded to police sergeants assigned to neighborhood service centers in an effort to provide an alternative response to routine patrol dispatch. Using a sample of all 3-1-1 calls that were inferred to neighborhood service centers we examine the volume and nature of these calls and how they are processed by the neighborhood service center sergeants. Our analysis shows that only 2.4 percent of all 3-1-1 calls are referred to a neighborhood service center, and that these calls can be classified as one of six types. On average, the call processing time fo 3-1-1 calls referred to neighborhood service centers is 4.6 days. Our analysis also shows that 98 pecent of the 3-1-1 calls referred to neighborhood service centers were first dispatched to a patrol unit to respond to the call. This suggests that the neighborhood service centers may not be an alternate response to citizen non-emergency calls for service but rather an additional response.

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Updated 05/20/2006