The Origins of StateStat (continued)

First, accurate and timely intelligence.

Every two weeks, the 9 agencies and organizational units participating in CitiStat submit detailed information about indicators that determine performance and service. These numbers include things like complaints, overtime, unscheduled leave - and performance markers, like the retention rates for recovering addicts in treatment, or the number of children participating in programs at recreation centers.

This slide is the first page of the Water & Wastewater report. That picture is of Amar Sokhey, head of the Bureau, and it lists some of the numbers Amar and his supervisors are tracking consistently.

agency profile
absenteeism graph
cost-reduction graph


Using this timely and accurate information, we have dramatically reduced absenteeism and unwarranted accident leave by enforcing existing policies. As a result, 100 additional employees are showing up at work every day - just in this one bureau - which lessens the burden placed on good employees who were forced to carry the load in the days when 1 in 7 city employees did not show up for work, every day.

And as a result of the additional employees, overtime is down 15%, saving taxpayers about $500,000 in Water & Wastewater so far - which projects to $750,000 for the year - while providing better, more efficient service.

The second tenet is rapid deployment of resources.

As we examined the efforts of our Fire Department, we noticed that ¾ of its calls were for emergency medical help, while ¾ of its staffing and equipment, including vehicles, were geared toward firefighting - even as the number of fires in Baltimore was declining sharply.

calls for service map
EMS response map

We made a decision to shift resources from fire suppression into ambulance service, but we still needed to maximize performance through more rapid deployment.

By pinmapping calls for assistance, we targeted new emergency medical units into the areas of greatest need.

And, compared to numbers compiled prior to CitiStat, we've shaved more than a minute off of ambulance response time - which is saving lives as people more quickly receive high-level medical treatment and are transported to the hospital.

The third tenet is effective tactics and strategies.

As I mentioned earlier, Baltimore is plagued by vacant houses - which can be a blessing in the form of development opportunities if a city develops effective strategies and tactics for redevelopment.

Through CitiStat, we are developing the first-ever complete inventory of Baltimore's housing stock, which will allow us to determine which neighborhoods have one vacant house and need quick intervention to prevent further decline…

neighborhood map
citiwide vacant housing map

As well as which neighborhoods are almost entirely abandoned, so we can strategically target our scarce demolition dollars, and begin to assemble and clear lots to sell to private or nonprofit developers to create new, living neighborhoods.

The level of information we are able to catalog - owner, most recent sales price, tax status, vacant or occupied… almost anything - enables us to tailor strategies to take advantage of neighborhood strengths - or address neighborhood weaknesses.