Civilians and Automation Are Making Police Departments More Efficient

September 08 2023

Scarlet Neath, CPE's Policy Director, spoke to Governing to discuss new policing approaches to address non-emergency incidents. Governing is a news media website that covers state and local government in the United States. This shift is currently in place in numerous cities nationwide to alleviate pressures on overtaxed law enforcement agencies. Using alternative policing approaches such as these also shows a positive impact on policing equity. 

According to Governing

“What this ultimately does is free up resources for police to do the things that are most appropriate for them to do, rather than requiring them to do administrative paperwork that doesn’t need armed, highly trained police personnel,” says Scarlet Neath, policy director for the Center for Policing Equity, which advocates reform of law enforcement practices.


“This is part of a trend where communities are starting to look closely at what kind of issues, where residents are calling 311 or 911 for services, end up being handled by police and may not need to be,” says Neath, of the Center for Policing Equity.

She notes that these types of experiments have been happening quietly for a while, but may now be at the point where they start snowballing. If departments are able to save thousands of human hours through automation or transferring functions to civilian personnel, that’s something other jurisdictions are going to notice. Especially if it makes for an improved user experience for the community.

Read the full story on the Governing website.