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Despite Surge in Crisis Calls, Fewer Than Two Percent Involve Use of Force

Today, the Seattle Police Department released the Crisis Intervention Outcome Report, which covers an 18-month period between January 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018.

“Crisis calls in our city have surged, and yet the overwhelming majority of these incidents are handled with little or no force at all. This is a testament to the training and professionalism of the men and women who are providing 911 emergency response services to our community every day,” said Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best.

Over the 18-month data period, officers responded to nearly 16,000 (15,995) contacts with persons believed to be in behavioral crisis; of these, more than 90% were 911 calls for service.

These numbers reflect a 9% increase in crisis-related calls from 2016 to 2017, and a 20% increase in crisis-related calls during the first six months of 2018 relative to the first six months of 2017.

In nearly 80% of these calls, a Crisis Intervention Training certified officer was on-scene. Of the 15,995 crisis contacts reported, fewer than 2 percent involved any use of force.

The data shows that officers are continuing to employ de-escalation training and crisis intervention skills to offer meaningful support to this vulnerable population, even as the demand continues to rise.

A full copy of the report is available here.

Crisis Intervention Outcome Report 101818