Improving LAPD Telephone Systems and Customer Service Citywide
Posted by Councilmember Englander on February 24, 2017 at 2:52 PM
This week, there have been a number of reports of non-emergency phone line outages at various police stations. These outages have not affected emergency calls but have made it difficult for residents to call their local stations to report incidents or request information. In some cases, residents calling their station reached a disconnected line and in others, their calls were transferred to the City’s 311 system. Many of the Los Angeles Police Department’s (LAPD) non-emergency phone systems are archaic and need to be replaced.
Today, I introduced a motion, alongside my colleagues Councilmember Bob Blumenfield and Councilmember Mike Bonin, requesting LAPD, with the assistance of the Information Technology Agency (ITA), report on its current phone-based customer service systems and LAPD’s standard procedures for handling calls for its non-emergency phone lines, when they are both in and out of service.
Further, LAPD should look at adopting customer service tools used by the Department of Water and Power (DWP), such as an automatic customer call back system which enables a resident to leave a message and be called back, instead of being placed on hold or transferred to 311.
Even when phone lines are operational, area police stations often don’t have enough staff to answer calls. When phones are answered, they are answered by sworn police personnel that could be more effectively deployed patrolling our communities.
Residents often call their area police stations to report neighborhood issues such as bulky items in need of pick up, illegal dumping, graffiti, pot holes, and wild animals. These issues are the responsibility of other City departments. Correctly routing calls that area stations receive would go a long way toward easing the burden on an under-staffed department and providing a better customer service experience.
It is critically important that when people call their local police stations, they have a positive experience. This new system is not just replacing an old system with a new system, it will replace old with smart.
Click here to read the Daily News article. Click here to view my press release and motion.
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