DALLAS COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) — The Dallas 911 Call Center is not answering calls as quickly as they would like. That ability determines how fast you could get help…if you need it.

Simply put, there is a staffing shortage within the communications division. Last month it was operating with just 69 call-takers. Normally, that number would be at 99.

There are several reasons why the department believes they are dealing with this staffing shortage.

  1. Attrition — The department hasn’t been able to hire people as quickly as workers are leaving.
  2. Money — The pay scale is not competitive. Administrators are now working with human resources to fix that issue.
  3. Promotions — Some workers simply level up.
  4. Coronavirus Pandemic — 37 employees assigned to the communications department have either tested positive for the virus or were forced to quarantine.

All of these factors create a problem. Staff at the center generally answer 90% of calls within 10 seconds of them coming in. But in September only 60.1% of calls were answer within 10 seconds.

Because of shortages, 7 uniformed Dallas police officers, on limited duty, are filling-in the gaps.

Over the summer, the Dallas City Council authorized a study to take place in the Communications Division in order to get a grasp of how the center functioned and in what areas it could be better. Those findings will be presented during a meeting with the Public Safety Committee on Monday, November 9.