Appropriate Responses Initiative

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As a key project within Ramsey County’s Violence Prevention American Rescue Plan Act Priority, the Appropriate Responses Initiative (ARI) enhances 911 Emergency Communications Center (ECC) dispatch processes, expands public wellness systems (Social Services and Public Health) and develops community institutions to provide a wider range of options in responding to people in need. It recognizes that although in some cases a traditional response is most appropriate there are limitations of these responses to address certain types of requests for assistance.  

This initiative will develop response policies and protocols that use three additional approaches to 911 call response options:    

Co-responder response – Including both wellness/community response and public safety system agencies. These will partner together to coordinate a response most appropriate to the information available at the time of dispatch and the needs of the individuals requesting service.  

Non-traditional response – Calls where wellness system and community institutions can respond without the need for dispatching public safety personnel.   

Community Response – Community only response that is both dispatched and preventative.  

ARI establishes and expands wellness system response for the entire county, identifying and collaborating with key wellness departments to expand existing services or invest in new service models that can be deployed in response to requests that come into the ECC or other contact points 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It also expands and institutionalizes community-based emergency response, building partnerships with key community organizations and supporting community infrastructure. Additionally, ARI will actively coordinate with public safety system partners across city and county government and engage the greater community implementing a co-design approach to the development of this new structure and ensuring new practices are communicated across all stakeholders.  

Co-design prioritizes collaboration between community members and system stakeholders to jointly create, improve, implement and evaluate policies, practices and service delivery in a way that centers the experience of those who will use the services or be impacted by the particular system(s) at issue. Central to this work is participation, inclusion, collaboration, and a broad representation from community across Ramsey County, including those who have been impacted by the systems in focus for transformation. Ramsey County uses the guiding principles of sharing power, prioritizing relationships, building capacity and using participatory means.

​System partners

Alongside community participation, we hope to have representation from partners around in government, non-profit and private sectors across the county. Below is a list of system perspectives within Ramsey County we hope to include at the table alongside community leadership.

  • Ramsey County Government Administration.
  • Ramsey County Emergency Communications Center.
  • Saint Paul / Ramsey County Public Health.
  • Ramsey County Social Services.
  • County, Saint Paul and suburban cities law enforcement partners.
  • Saint Paul and suburban city Fire Department partners.
  • Education partners.
  • Hospital partners.
  • City of Saint Paul Office of Neighborhood Safety.
  • Leadership from suburban Ramsey County cities.