DALLAS (CBS11) – Dallas Councilman and Public Safety Committee Chairman Adam Medrano criticized new City Manager T.C. Broadnax after he postponed a briefing about the crisis at the 911 call center.
“I just wanted to say how disappointed I am today. Twice it’s been denied to public safety,” said Medrano.
During a public safety committee meeting Monday, council member Sandy Greyson agreed with Medrano.
A spokeswoman said Broadnax wants more time to provide the full council more details.
The entire council will receive a briefing April 19, more than three weeks away.
New statistics show the city reached its goal just one day during the past eight days, of answering 911 calls within ten seconds, 90 percent of the time.
That was Friday.
The next day, only 75 percent of calls were answered within ten seconds in part because an unspecified number of 911 call takers called out sick.
Sgt. Mike Mata, President of the Dallas Police Association said, “Yes, it’s very common. You can have a staffing issue. You can’t get off and when you do feel bad, you’re going to call in sick. So those numbers snowball on each other.”
Calls were answered on average that night within 37 seconds.
Here are specific dates and percentages of 911 calls being answered within ten seconds:
Sunday, March 19: 82 percent – 23 percent of 911 call takers called in sick
Monday, March 20: 85 percent
Tuesday, March 21: 84 percent
Wednesday, March 22: 87 percent
Thursday, March 23: 86 percent
Friday, March 24: 92 percent
Saturday, March 25: 75 percent – Unspecified number of 911 call takers called in sick
Sunday, March 26: 85 percent
This comes after the city added a total of 12 operators each day to its 911 call center.
Councilman Adam McGough, another public safety committee member said, “It’s a huge concern. When someone picks up the phone to dial 911, somebody ought to be there to dial the phone, someone ought to be on the way to resolve the issue.”
Interim Police Chief David Pughes said many of the emergency calls are being handled within 13 seconds, not ten.
A bigger concern he says is that 911 callers not be placed on hold.
And three weeks after delayed 911 calls were first potentially connected to two deaths, Pughes said the city still needs more time for a fix. “I’m not happy with where we’re at right now. We still need to make improvements.”
Council members are also concerned the Dallas Police Department has moved its neighborhood police officers to the 911 call center.
McGough said, “They play a huge role in our community so I hate to see that’s the place we’re looking to pull from.”
Pughes said this Friday and Saturday, the city will hold a career fair with the goal of hiring more 911 call takers.