The application period for this challenge is now closed

  • Governer Partner :City of Syracuse
  • Department :Trauma Response Team
  • Category :Data Collection / Security, Digitization, Geo Services, IoT, Mobile App, Process Improvement, Resident Engagement

Project Summary

Citizen engagement tool for the city’s trauma Response Team (TRT) to engage residents after traumatic events, such as violent crimes.

Challenge Details

The City of Syracuse needs a technological system or an alert application that the Trauma Response Team (TRT) could use when a traumatic community event occurs.  The TRT would populate an update and push it to the the public. End users would receive these notifications that would tell people what happened (event recap) and where the community can go for help and support.  They will be able to receive invitations to community counseling sessions and “healing events” that occur within hours of an event.


This will be an important tool for the community, because Syracuse has over 1,000 violent crimes a year.  Several measures have been taken to address this challenge. For example, sensors have been installed throughout the neighborhoods that identify when shots are fired.  However, even with this type of investment, many citizens still feel like the community doesn’t care about them or the violence and trauma that they endure.


One of the biggest initiatives to address this concern has been the creation of the TRT.  This team works very closely with the Syracuse Police Department. When a trauma is called-in to 911, the dispatchers not only send out police and EMS, but also the TRT.  The team arrives on the scene to moderate between the civilians and the police. They also have access to the local emergency rooms and work closely with the medical professionals there.  After an event, the TRT’s goal is to help the community heal. Right now, they use word of mouth or social media to alert the public to events and tell them where they can go for help. However, this isn’t very effective.  They don’t reach enough people, and they aren’t able to lead the conversation around community healing.


The TRT needs a way to inform the public of traumatic events that happened in the community.  This will allow citizens to start the healing process earlier and allow them to take control over some of the emotional tragedies within the community.  Additionally by putting this information in the hands of citizens, they will start to feel like the City cares about them and their community. (Oftentimes, the neighborhoods that experience traumatic events feel like they are ignored by the rest of the City).  A tool to inform people about what is happening in their community will increase trust and be a stepping stone for new programs and initiatives.


This project would be managed by Timothy Jennings-Bey who is not a City employee.  Instead he runs the TRT. However, this has the full support from the Syracuse Police Department and administration.  Ultimately, it would improve community relations, allow people to get the counseling they need, and contribute to grass roots efforts to reduce violence in the community.


This application has the potential to improve interactions between city employees (including Police) and citizens in high crime areas.  It could also provide data about where the City should target operations and programs in the areas that need it most.


The biggest impact of this tool would be felt with external community stakeholders.  It will help to cultivate grassroots efforts against violence, which would hopefully lead to a reduction in violent crime.  It would also increase the community counseling network and help to drive attendance numbers. Finally, it would remind people in the high crime neighborhoods know that the City is thinking of them and trying to help them.