Richland Police's Differential Response System - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Richland Police's Differential Response System

RICHLAND, Wash. -- A local police agency has found a way to increase their efficiency, with the use of the telephone.

Richland Police calls it the Differential Response System and it allows certain officers to process many more calls than they ever would on normal patrol.

With the Differential Call System, two officers spend their time doing telephone reports, or calls that don't need an officer present. Richland Police's Captain Mike Cobb says, "It takes one officer less time than having them to put in the field."

Calls where additional evidence cannot be found at the scene, like some car theft and car prowel calls ares where the telephone reports are used. Cobb says, "It's just a way with limited staff resources to try to deliver an adequate level of service."

911 responders say the Differential Officers helps ease their workload. Responders say that officers will take some calls off their hands if the 911 center is busy. Richland Police say the new system has gotten mixed reviews.

"We've got citizens say we understand why you have to do this, and we've also had complaints." Police says staff shortages have forced the changes. But they say if asked, they will always dispatch an officer to help.