STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — The New York City Police Department announced a new plan to reduce police calls for service to minor accident scenes on Staten Island. ABC 7 NY said that Staten Island police officials instituted the program. The NYPD hopes that by reducing the number of calls to respond to relatively minor car accidents, it will free up officers to attend to more pressing matters. NYPD officers will respond to many other types of accidents. The program is in a pilot stage. There is no information about whether NYPD plans to expand the program to the other four boroughs or scrap it altogether.
NYPD officers assigned to Staten Island respond to their fair share of motor vehicle accident calls. ABC 7 NY reports that officers on Staten Island receive 800 calls for minor car accidents monthly and approximately 10,000 per year. Those figures do not include more severe accidents. Police calculate that less time helping drivers exchange information at the scene of a minor car crash will help with filling other police duties and responding to more serious calls.
The pilot program, implemented on Monday, March 18, 2019, obligates the 911 call taker to assess the severity of the incident based on answers given by the caller to questions posed by the call taker. The 911 operators will instruct the reporting party to listen to a recorded message and transfer the call. The message will explain that the parties must exchange information such as license information and insurance information. The passage will also advise that the operators must file an accident report with NYPD within ten days of the crash.
Police will continue to respond to car accidents on Staten Island. Officers must respond to an accident involving severe property damage, injuries, or when police suspect a crime such as a drunk driver or a hit-and-run, or if a third-party is involved like the owner of a parked car.
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