CPD making changes in response procedures for 911 calls

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The Cincinnati Police Department is making some major changes to the way they respond to 911 calls.

CPD says with a "continuous reduction in their police force," they're trying to be as efficient with their time as possible.

So far in 2013, there have been 41 murders in Cincinnati, which is 16 more than this time last year. So what can be done to reduce that number?

"The way to impact crime in our neighborhoods is to have officers deployed with a purpose using good data analysis and go where they need to go," explained Interim Chief Paul Humphries.

In order to free up officers, CPD is changing things.

In the event of a minor traffic accident and not one involving a major injury, they don't have to complete a standard Ohio crash report. This is a process that interim chief Paul Humphries says can take about an hour and a half.

He says they are still required to respond to every auto accident.

"The officer should be there just a few minutes, provides that service, answers any questions and then moves on," said Humphries.

Officers will continue to respond to all audible, burglar, holdup and panic alarms, but now alarm companies must try to call twice to reach someone with information as to why it's going off.

"As far as burglar alarms, about 70% of them are false," said Humphries.

He says because of that statistic, supervisors now have more discretion to call officers off if they're needed elsewhere. However, Sara Yurchison who's had her home burglarized three times wishes that wasn't the case.

"It makes me mad because that should be just as big as a priority as anything else. We should be able to get some justice and help quickly from the police," said Yurchison.

Police also respond to multiple non-violent crimes a day. If there's no evidence or any witnesses to further the case, the complainant will now receive a closure letter explaining why the case is likely to be closed, but it could re-open as new information becomes available.

Police say freeing up more officers will give police more of a chance to become involved with youth intervention efforts and quality of life issues in various neighborhoods.

Police said other cities have made similar changes, including Columbus, Milwaukee and Kansas City.

The changes will take effect Sunday.

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