Jessica aims to answer the question of how 911 call-takers mediate caller demands and impact first response . She worked for two years as a 911 call-taker in Southeast Michigan, which allowed her to analyze the kinds of problems callers report, the decisions that call-takers must make, the challenges and dilemmas that they face, and the ways in which training and organizational norms shape the call-taking process. Her latest research adds to this body of work by interviewing municipal and police leaders, 911 operators, and first responders in Denver, Tucson, and San Francisco to learn about their alternative response efforts. She is working with a team of researchers from NYU and Suffolk to do this work.

Gillooly has received research grants supporting her work through the Policing Project at NYU School of Law, National Institutes of Health NICHD Population Studies Training Grant, University of Michigan Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship, and Weinberg Research Prize. She defended her Ph.D. in 2020 at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. 

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Gillooly, Jessica and David Thacher. (Forthcoming). "How the Public Became the Caller: The Emergence of Reactive Policing, 1880-1970." Law & Social Inquiry. 

Gillooly, Jessica. (2023). "Collaborative Gatekeeping: Consensus-Seeking Practices Among Emergency Call-Takers" Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice. 

Gillooly, Jessica. (2022). “Lights and Sirens: Variation in 911 Call-Taker Risk Appraisal and Its Effects on Police Officer Perceptions at the Scene." Journal of Policy Analysis and Management (JPAM). *Winner of the Raymond Vernon Memorial Award by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM)

Gillooly, Jessica. (2020). “How 911 Callers and Call-Takers Impact Police Encounters with the Public: The Case of the Henry Louis Gates Jr. Arrest.” Criminology and Public Policy. 


Gillooly, Jessica, Tamara Leech, and Brenda Bond-Fortier. (2023). Tucson's Community Safety Response and Service Portfolio: Achieving a Cohesive, Integrated, and Community-Supported Response Model. Report to the Policing Project. Report to the Policing Project.

Gillooly, Jessica, Tamara Leech, and Brenda Bond-Fortier. (2023). Transforming Denver's First Response Model: Lessons in Multi-Level Systems Change. Report to the Policing Project. 


“911, Is This an Emergency?: How 911 Call-Takers Extract, Interpret, and Classify Caller Information." (June 2020). University of Michigan - Ann Arbor. Honorable mention 2020 ProQuest dissertation award. 

Complete dissertation available here

Research Grants

“Reimagining Dispatch and Transforming First Response.” Microsoft, 2020-2023. Co-primary investigator with Barry Friedman at NYU School of Law.