City Council to consider $1.5 million for 911 call center

City Council to consider $1.5 million for 911 call center

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - New Orleans City Council members say they feel they have a plan that could begin to address problems with the 911 call center.

City leaders are scheduled to vote Thursday morning on whether to give the call center an additional $1.5 million.

That money could be used to hire more employees for the understaffed call center. Increased staffing would help improve lagging police response times.

Council members admit fixing the problems with the call center won't fix problems within the NOPD, which is still understaffed.

"Right now there is not enough of them, we have one supervisor per shift, which means if he calls in sick then we have no supervisors," said City Council President Jason Williams. "So we must devote resources to this area so we can attract qualified  911 operators."

This vote comes on the heels of a Fox 8/ investigation into the lagging response times.

Part of that problem is under staffing at NOPD. But the call center has only 55 people taking 911 calls and another 24 dispatchers who coordinate police response.

The workload for 911 call center employees is also growing. They're beginning to take calls for not only the NOPD, but also for the New Orleans Fire Department and EMS.

By giving the center up to $1.5 million to increase staff, most emergency calls could be handled in 20 seconds or less.

City leaders say they have received complaints about long wait times, disconnections and unanswered calls.

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