L.A. approves Office of Unarmed Response framework to provide alternative 911 responses
The office will collaborate with 911 dispatchers, but instead of LAPD responding to incidents, it will be unarmed response specialists
By Sarah Roebuck
LOS ANGELES — The largest city in California took a step closer to establishing an Office of Unarmed Response to develop alternative responses to some emergency calls, KNBC reports.
Los Angeles City Council approved a motion Tuesday that has the framework of what the Office of Unarmed Response will look like. The framework outlines the scope of funding, staffing, work and determining primary objectives.
The motion required the chief administrative officer to create a program within 120 days for performance management and evaluation of the city's Unarmed Model of Crisis Response Pilot. The data collected from this study will be utilized to inform the development of the Office of Unarmed Response.
The council also directed the Los Angeles Police Department to provide a report within 90 days, listing the 911 calls that can be appropriately redirected to alternative response models instead of involving armed police officers.
The Office of Unarmed Response will serve as the central hub for the city's current alternative response initiatives. These include the Call Redirection to Ensure Suicide Safety program, the Crisis and Incident Response through Community-Led Engagement program, the Gang Reduction and Youth Development program, the Summer Night Lights program, and the Domestic Abuse Response Team.
The office will collaborate with 911 dispatchers, but instead of the Los Angeles Police Department responding to incidents, unarmed response specialists will utilize a services-led approach. The objectives of the office are to deliver 24/7 service and enhance coordination between agencies, bridging the gap in high-need areas.