One-line solution summary:
A vetted database of alternatives to calling the police or 911 organized by city; empowering communities to access the care they need
What specific problem are you solving?
In nearly every city across the United States, less than 10% of calls to 911 are about a violent crime in progress. As a society we are programmed to use 911 as the default catch-all call for any crisis or emergency we encounter. As a result, police are often called into situations that they are not trained for, not equipped to handle, and often end up escalating into violence. For many of these calls, an alternative source of help is available.
The instinct to treat police as the catch-all is pervasive throughout the U.S.; however, the negative impacts of this instinct fall disproportionately on BIPOC communities. As we are all too aware, these impacts are devastating - the U.S. consistently averages nearly 1,000 people killed by police each year.
The objective of dontcallthepolice.com is to keep people safe and allow people to feel confident seeking assistance when they need it by providing easy and transparent access to alternative resources for crisis support. By providing a free, vetted, accessible database of alternatives to police, dontcallthepolice.com will deprogram people from a police-first mindset, and empower communities to move toward a system of public safety that protects everyone.
Pitch your solution.
dontcallthepolice.com is a database of community-based alternatives to calling the police or 911, organized by city. The site provides resources for various areas of need - housing and homelessness, mental health, sexual assault and domestic violence, substances, youth/runaways, LGBTQ+, elders, and crime. The site is easy to navigate, and all of the sources are vetted, meaning we contact each resource to confirm the information, and to get details on when, if ever, they might involve law enforcement - information that is presently not available or easily accessible through any other means. Scaled to serve communities throughout the United States nationally, dontcallthepolice.com's database will be tool for use by communities to empower themselves to tailor their public safety response to the issues they face, decrease calls to law enforcement for issues that could be better resolved by a community responder, and increase the number of people who seek assistance.
Our solution's stage of development:Growth: An organization with an established product, service, or business model rolled out in one or, ideally, several communities, which is poised for further growth
Explain why you selected this stage of development for your solution.
I selected "growth" because dontcallthepolice.com is an established product that is being consistently used in communities throughout the country, but is still expanding. The fundamentals of the site are established, and research parameters are set up, but growth is cumbersome due to a static site architecture with no developer support and limited capacity to manage site operations and volunteer development. With additional support and resources, we can grow this already proven site into a dynamic and scalable product.
Where are you based?Los Angeles, CA, USA