Below is a description of call priorities for the Kansas City Police Department. This information was provided by Officer James Schriever, a Community Interaction Officer with the Central Patrol Division:
Almost daily I receive calls and questions from our community regarding police response to their calls for service. Many are unaware that due to the volume of calls for service we receive, calls for police service are actually prioritized. I want to reassure all of our community that a quick response time to all calls for service is a priority at the Central Patrol Division and the entire Kansas City Missouri Police Department. Major Stewart, Commander at Central Patrol constantly monitors response times and continues to stress the importance of providing professional police service in a timely manner to all the assistant division commanders, as well as all sergeants and officers assigned to Central Patrol.
Below is from KCPD Procedural Instruction Policy 09-03. Due to the volume of calls requesting a police response, it is necessary to utilize a call screening method to more efficiently deploy police resources. The call prioritization system is designed to help provide sufficient patrol units to handle calls for service, particularly in emergency situations. This system will also provide officers more opportunities to problem solve and partner within the community.
- Priority 10: This category is broken down into four fields: 10, 11, 12, and 13. The 10, 11, 12, and 13 levels of priority will be classified as priority 10; however, the additional levels of priority will enable calls to be dispatched in order of seriousness.
- 10 – This call is for Assist the Officer only and will be dispatched without delay.
- 11 – A call which presents an extreme danger to human life. Examples of 11 calls include the following: shootings, cuttings, injury accidents, investigate the need for an ambulance, ambulance en route, and explosions.
- 12 – A call which presents a known danger to human life. Examples of 12 calls include the following: any call where a weapon is involved, rape in progress, armed robbery in progress, and explosive devices.
- 13 – A call which presents a potential danger to human life. Examples of 13 calls include the following: disturbance – nature unknown, armed robbery just occurred, hold-up alarm, and natural disasters.
- Priority 20: A call where the potential for injuries to occur exists, but has not yet happened. Examples of priority 20 calls include the following: prowlers, burglaries in progress, bomb threats, disturbances, domestic violence assaults in progress or just occurred, etc. This priority will be used if any of the following conditions are reported to exist:
- Suspect at the scene or believed to be in the immediate vicinity.
- Incident of such magnitude that it should receive prompt attention.
- Exigent circumstances other than those listed above which would cause the call taker to believe a timely response is necessary.
- Priority 30: This category is broken down into two levels: 30 and 31. The 30 and 31 priority levels will be classified as priority 30; however, the two levels of priority will enable calls to be dispatched in order of seriousness.
- 30 – A call which is non-life threatening, but requires a timely police response to preserve evidence in danger of being destroyed or becoming irretrievable, ensure the safety of the public, and/or prevent escape. Examples of priority 30 calls include: check the welfare, 911 hang-up calls from a residence or business, holding a person for shoplifting, etc.
- 31 – A call which is non-life threatening, but requires a timely police response where no evidence exists at the scene, or an exact location at the response address cannot be determined, e.g., 911 hang-ups from coin phones or cellular phones.
- Priority 40: A call in which a reasonable police response will not detract from the quality of police service. Priority 40 calls do not present any immediate danger to human life. Examples of priority 40 calls include: residential and nonresidential burglaries, car prowlers, stealing that just occurred, intrusion alarms, non-injury accidents, suspicious activities, etc. Priority 40 calls which do not meet the TDC criteria will be dispatched when a division officer becomes available.
- Priority 50: A call in which a delayed response of police to the scene of the incident will not detract from the quality of investigation or service to the person or is a report classification code. Examples of priority 50 calls include: noise disturbances, assaults with no suspects present and no injuries to the victim (excluding domestic violence assaults) which require medical attention, etc. Priority 50 calls which do not meet the TDC criteria will be dispatched when division officers become available. These calls generally should not be dispatched outside of division boundaries.
- Alternative Handling: A call in which the absence of police at the scene of the incident will not detract from the quality of investigation or service to the person. Calls which do not specifically meet “Alternative Handling” requirements will be dispatched according to the established priority level for that call classification. Alternative handling may include walk-in, telephone reports, transfer to a Telephone Service Officer, or handling by a call taker without initiating a police response. The following calls may be handled with an alternative method if there are no injuries, no investigation is required, and/or no suspects are present:
- Stealing (Larceny)
- Property Damage
- Non-Injury Vehicular
- Vehicles are drivable
- No intoxicated drivers are involved
- No third-party caller id. Drivers produce license and insurance information
- Fraud or Attempted Fraud
- Non-Aggravated Assault (Does not include D.V., or assaults in progress/just occurred, or where suspect information is available. Suspect information is defined as specific information that can help to identify the suspect, e.g., name, address, license number, etc.)
- Supplement to an original report
- Stolen Autos
- Robberies (reported after 4 hours)
- Identity Theft
- No Response: A request for which no response of a police officer will be made. The person will be told to respond to a patrol division, or will be referred to the appropriate agency.
- Telephone Dispatch Calls (TDC): TDC are priority 40 and 50 calls that do not require an immediate officer response and the caller gives a contact name and telephone number. The TDC response allows the district officers and supervisors the ability to manage their own sector and improve communications between the district officers and members of the community, thereby enhancing customer service.
- Seven alternatives are available to Communications Unit personnel for processing calls for service, based upon the availability of personnel:
- Priority 10: These calls will be dispatched immediately and officers will be dispatched code one.
- Priority 20: An attempt to dispatch will be made within 2 minutes and officers will be dispatched code one, if the call is “in progress”.
- Priority 30: An attempt to dispatch will be made within 5 minutes.
- Priority 40: These calls may be delayed by the dispatcher, but will be dispatched as soon as a police officer within the division of the call address becomes available. The on duty Communications Unit Supervisor will determine if calls within this classification will be dispatched outside patrol division boundaries.
- Priority 50: These calls will be dispatched when a police officer, responsible for the call within his/her respective sector, becomes available. Every attempt will be made to dispatch these calls within a four hour time period. For calls meeting the delayed response criteria, the call taker will advise the caller that a delay of up to four hours is possible. If necessary, the dispatcher will attempt to recontact the caller and inform them of a longer delay. However, if an officer is not available- to answer a call within his/her sector in the allotted time, that call will be dispatched to other sectors for handling.
- TDC: The call taker will determine if the call meets the criteria for TDC. When it is determined the call meets the TDC criteria, the call will be forwarded to the dispatcher. These calls will be given to an officer as soon as reasonably possible, after receipt, and will not be held unnecessarily. These calls will be given to an officer in the sector where the call is located. The dispatcher will not hold an officer out of service on the TDC unless specifically requested. The dispatcher will update the CAD record when notified by the officer.
- Alternative Handling: An alternative handling call may be processed in one of five ways:
- Referral to a Patrol Division: There are calls in which a person may be required to respond to a patrol division to make a report. These calls are outlined in Section III, F, and the call taker will advise the caller of this alternative procedure.
- Referral to Another Agency: Communications Unit personnel will refer callers requesting non-police service to the appropriate agency.
- Telephone Service Officers: Telephone Service Officers will assist call takers with the handling and processing of calls for service. This will help reduce police response to calls by providing callers with needed information and taking reports by telephone, when appropriate.
- Phone-In Report: There are calls in which a person may be required to telephone a patrol division to make a phone-in report. The call taker will advise the caller of this alternative procedure.
- Informational Broadcast: When appropriate, Communications Unit personnel will initiate informational broadcasts to field personnel, e.g., traffic violator information, suspicious car and occupants gone, or residence checks made by bondsmen.