What happens when you micromanage people to the nth degree? Minneapolis drops controversial 911 answering software.
Management of Minneapolis’s 911 call center spent $730,000 dollars on a system, and training, to take all humanity out of the 911 call center.
ProQA prompts dispatchers to ask specific questions, in a specific order, based on different emergency situations.
Which might be fine if it worked OK.
Sampson-Spande said her two decades of experience often told her to ask different questions, in a different order, than what the software was giving her. And, she worried not following the program would have eventually led to losing her job.
“I felt like I was deciding, do I want to keep my job and be compliant?, Or, do I want to help somebody?, And I don’t feel like I should be in that position,” she said
So she quit. And she wasn’t alone. Turnover has become an issue because who wants to work under those conditions?
And the cops didn’t like it either, but for the simple reason that they were not getting the information they required.
Bob Kroll with the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis said the union also has concerns about ProQA. Kroll said he’s most alarmed by officers arriving at scenes without knowing suspect descriptions because dispatchers haven’t gotten to those questions yet in the line of questioning.
Because why should the management of the 911 center talk to cops about what questions need to be asked in what order? That’s just CRAZY talk. The manager of the 911 center (bet’s on if they were brought in to “fix” something?) knows best. No one else gets any input whatsoever.
They blame technology up one side and down the other, but it is management who bought that software, spent money on training, and held on for two years while things went downhill. (Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.) They do mention an “interim manager” for the 911 center, so maybe they canned whoever had this brainchild.
When you call 911 you are interacting with a system of people and software, radios, computers, etc. Sometimes that system will work well. But when the management sets things up so that people don’t want to (or are unable) to do the job, then things might not work out for you. This could be because the software is awful, the people are untrained, whatever. In this case, the software was clearly awful, and high turnover meant that the people were not experienced. And Minneapolis didn’t meet 911 national standards for answering calls.