Assessing and Ensuring Alternative Emergency Response Strategies

May 18, 2022

Sign up for the FUSE Newsletter

FUSE Corps

The City of Baltimore released a 5-Year Violence Prevention Plan outlining a collective vision for transforming safety across the city, including an increase in 911 diversion efforts, to help ensure appropriate responses to situations that do not require law enforcement. To support this work, Baltimore will partner with FUSE Corps to create and scale a strategy to build upon early efforts to divert more calls away from law enforcement towards other agencies when possible.

This fellowship project begins on July 25, 2022, and ends on July 24, 2023. The fellowship begins with a multi-day virtual orientation the week of July 25, 2022. The selected Executive Fellow will begin their first day of providing services to the host agency on August 1, 2022.

PROJECT CONTEXT

The City of Baltimore is working to improve community safety and emergency response strategies. The Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement is dedicated to partnering with Baltimore’s residents, community-based organizations, businesses, as well as the Baltimore police and fire departments to support community outcomes. Identifying ideas for bold, innovative responses has been driven by the voices of hundreds of Baltimore residents across dozens of community meetings. In June 2021, Mayor Scott released Baltimore’s 5-Year Violence Prevention Plan outlining a collective vision for transforming safety across the city. 

The plan calls for an increase in 911 diversion efforts, to help ensure appropriate responses to situations that do not require law enforcement. Although 911 is the most recognizable option for rapid response, some calls to 911 could alternatively be rerouted to an array of local resources. Since the beginning of the 911 diversion pilot initiative in June 2021, hundreds of emergency calls were recorded through 911 that did not require the presence of the Baltimore Police Department (BPD).

In order to ensure the most appropriate response for each crisis, reduce the burden on BPD in alignment with the consent decree, increase community-centric responses, and ultimately better serve residents, the City of Baltimore will partner with FUSE Corps to host an executive fellow for one year. The fellow will help create and scale a strategy to build upon early efforts to divert more calls away from law enforcement towards other agencies when possible. This strategy will include recommendations for engaging the community and community partners to identify appropriate processes and procedures for assessing the type of risk, identifying the relevant entity, and ensuring an alternative response. 

PROJECT SUMMARY & POTENTIAL DELIVERABLES

The following provides a general overview of the proposed fellowship project. This project summary and the potential deliverables that follow will be collaboratively revisited by the host agency, the fellow, and FUSE staff during the first few months of the fellowship, after which a revised scope of work will be developed and agreed upon by the FUSE Fellow and the host agency.

Starting in April 2022, the FUSE Executive Fellow will work to quickly connect with the relevant stakeholders to understand the current landscape and initiatives. This will require identifying and collecting the data housed within various partner organizations and ensuring data analysis that informs the types of alternative responses to be piloted. The fellow will spearhead mapping existing community partnerships aimed at improving violence prevention and supporting community crisis and trauma response. The fellow will also research similar initiatives undertaken throughout the country, including taking stock of successes, challenges, and how those lessons can be applied in Baltimore.

The fellow will utilize this data-driven landscape analysis and to scale the current 911 diversion pilot into a full strategy that will provide an accessible pathway to alternative crisis response. This strategy should help to address the needs of underserved neighborhoods, allowing crisis response and wellness resources to be utilized to create a safer, more supported community, while simultaneously helping to reduce some of the stressors on the BPD. The fellow will solidify the partnerships necessary to implement this initiative, making the case to ensure the engagement of various stakeholders. This implementation plan should be informed by data-driven analysis demonstrating the efficacy of a community-centric approach. The fellow will then begin the implementation of these recommendations. Ultimately, this 911 diversion strategy will help the City of Baltimore better support communities by deploying alternative resources in response to various crises and reducing the deployment of law enforcement.

  • Assess the current landscape and review best practices: Gain an in-depth understanding of existing, planned, and future efforts to work with community organizations to respond to crisis. Identify, collect and analyze data from key stakeholders across the city related to current crises and response. Highlight current approaches used, opportunities for improvement, forecasted gaps, and metrics for success in order to gain a thorough understanding of how the various violence and crisis prevention initiatives complement each other. Research successful community-based prevention initiatives from across the country to identify model programs that engage all relevant stakeholders.
  • Identify opportunities to harmonize existing initiatives: Utilizing the data and landscape analysis, identify opportunities to scale the current 911 diversion pilot, bringing various related initiatives together in a way that multiplies the potential for an increase in positive outcomes. This includes tapping into and expanding existing initiatives and identifying opportunities to overcome challenges and barriers to collaboration between key stakeholders. Identify how best to align community support, violence prevention, and 911 diversion initiatives in coordination with the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement.
  • Engage internal and external stakeholders to establish deep relationships and design recommendations: Demonstrate cross-cultural agility and successfully engage with all relevant stakeholders. Establish relationships with other agencies, community partners and other key stakeholders to design approaches to crisis response that maximize efficiency and improve service delivery, while maintaining the engagement of neighborhood and community residents.
  • Identify approaches for alternative response: Develop the implementation plan(s) for at least four additional call types that do not require Police, Fire, or EMS responses, including identifying community service providers to serve as community service providers serve as coordinated entry points for households at-risk of or experiencing homelessness.
  • Map out implementation inclusive of timelines for execution: Create an implementation plan for improving crisis response and diverting crisis calls from 911, as well as reducing neighborhood violence by leveraging community engagement and available trauma-informed resources. The strategy should include carefully sequenced phases designed to build momentum and ensure smooth transitions for all key stakeholders. Include prioritized initiatives, deliverables, timelines, budgets, staffing needs, and change management approaches.
  • Support long-term implementation and ensure initiative sustainability: Develop a robust implementation plan that leads to initial programming being in place by the end of the first year – include goals and systems for monitoring and reporting out on progress.

KEY STAKEHOLDERS

  • Executive Sponsor – Shantay Jackson, Director, Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement
  • Project Supervisor – Stefanie Mavronis, Chief of Staff, Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement
  • TBA, Deputy Mayor, Public Safety, City of Baltimore
  • Brandon M. Scott, Mayor, City of Baltimore

QUALIFICATIONS

  • At least 15 years of professional experience in outreach and organizing with community-based organizations as well as commercial entities, with a strong background in project management
  • Project Management Professional certification a plus
  • Experience with trauma-informed responses to crisis a significant asset
  • Superior critical thinking and analytical skills, including the ability to quickly map various stakeholders and initiatives
  • Capacity to identify best practices, understand data and evidence and use it to make a persuasive argument to support recommendations
  • Ability to synthesize complex information into clear and concise recommendations
  • Excellent stakeholder engagement skills and the ability to use facilitative leadership techniques to coordinate stakeholder activities
  • Self-motivated and goal-oriented leader who can also be an independent worker
  • Ability to relate to a wide variety of diverse audiences with strong emotional intelligence and empathy
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills with an ease in public and high-level presentations
  • Ability to sustain progress within potentially ambiguous environments
  • Experience working with underserved communities

FUSE Corps is an equal opportunity employer with a core value of incorporating diverse perspectives into our work at every level. We encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply for this position.

FUSE Corps is an equal opportunity employer with a core value of incorporating diverse perspectives into our work at every level. We encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply for this position.