Interviews | Politics

Keeping the City Safe

Alicia Tate-Nadeau on emergency services in Chicago

There are few services with as consistent a range of public trust—and as little public understanding—as the 911 emergency system. This past City Bureau cycle, a team of reporters set out to understand how the Office of Emergency Management and Communications handled 911 calls in Chicago, and what stories there were to be told about the dispatch system. We found that there are few resources to offer dispatchers help with chronic PTSD that can affect their job performance, that the outsourced language translation system can lag at critical times, and there remains enough distrust in 911’s relationship to police in Chicago for some groups to seek to bypass it altogether.
—Yana Kunichoff, City Bureau