Reimagine 911 Part 2 - Reimagining 911 with subject-matter experts

One of Reimagine911’s goals is to develop a multi-jurisdictional data set of 911 calls with standard hierarchical groupings and tags. This type of data setdoesn’t exist right now for 911 data. Data standards across jurisdictions vary. At scale, it’s difficult to truly understand themes in 911 incidents we’re seeing across cities in America, especially incidents that non-law enforcement responders could respond to.

Refining existing standards

Rather than develop a completely new set of standards, we’re refining existing standards from APCO, the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials. We recognized that we need to understand how non-law enforcement perspectives would approach incidents, so we’re working on scheduling informational interviews with people from these backgrounds:

  • Government services - Works within public institutions to administer government services
  • Community organizing - Works with community organizations to advocate for social issues
  • Social services - Provides or administers social services related to the social safety net
  • Health care - Works in the health care fields either in direct service or administration
  • Law enforcement - Works in law enforcement either in direct service or administration
  • Legal services - Provides legal services for people involved in the criminal legal system

Why different perspectives matter

True to our name, we want to reimagine how 911 as a system addresses a variety of incidents, from mental health issues to motor vehicle accidents to transportation requests. Different perspectives will help us understand:

  • Who are the people that can best deescalate situations?
  • What do these types of situations look like?
  • How can our existing data standards incorporate these very important nuances?

This work doesn’t happen alone in a vacuum. It comes from listening first to people who have personal experiences in this system and building a data standard that’s going to be most useful in analyzing 911 data in a more human way alongside these experts.

How we’re gathering different perspectives

These are our three main methods to reaching subject matter experts:

  • Leverage existing relationships - From our Transform911 partnership and other professional relationships, especially in the communities we live in
  • Contact former volunteers - From the National Day of Civic Action where the Reimagine911 project started
  • An open call for experts - From posting on DemocracyLab, a volunteer platform that reaches socially-minded volunteers

Get involved!

Thank you so much for wanting to learn more about the work we’re doing to reimagine the 911 system through standardized data!

:sparkles:Sign up to volunteer with us on DemocracyLab at Reimagine 911 by Code For America | DemocracyLab

:sparkles:Learn more about our work at

:sparkles:Contact our project manager Micah Mutrux for more details or questions about Reimagine911

There’s more from Reimagine 911! Please read Part 1: Local Impact with National Significance: A “Project-in-a Box” for Engaging Busy Brigades