Thursday, August 09, 2007

DMN On / Split of 911 Center

Do Reporters come from Mars or Venus ? First of all the Dallas Morning New calls the 911 Call Center troubled, a few problem calls are not grounds to redo the entire call center concept. The News has reported on a problem or two in the past , but what does the Dallas Morning News reporters know about running a City , much less a call center. From the article not much: the Reporter said "a fallen tree in the roadway is a non police matter", That is the dumbest statement I ever heard, the very first car that comes upon that tree and hits it and all occupants killed because no Police was there to redirect traffic , the first outcry will be "Why were there no Police at the scene" until other City Services could arrive to remove tree or put up barricade. The call center handle 3.6 million calls each year and only three or four go wrong it's a very good call center with those numbers. Because a few employee do not perform well does not mean the system is broke, what it does mean is better pay and training should be implemented. Supervisors should listen to recorded calls and use for training.
One of the other calls was Mr.Lyles the caller said someone was trying to kill a child's mother, the 911 operator told Police someone was trying to harm the child's mother. What the HELL difference is harm or kill. HARM says it all. The dictionary say harm means : damage, hurt. Police should have gone code three to the location on first 911 call. The other calls simply went into rotation. The truth of the matter is we do not have enough Officers to answer all the calls. When John Ware sold 311
it was never said that 311 and 911 would be answered by the same people. 311 is non emergency and could put people on hold or have them leave message as I have done many times on 311. 911 should be priority with it's own set of Operators. If Chief Kunkle of Chief Brown says move 911 under Police then I am for that move, but I know
as a retired Manager that does not cost $600,000 and if this New City Council goes for that then we the Taxpayers are in big trouble. We currently have 140 call center operators, they have 23 in training ,so funded positions does not seem to be the problem. They fired a Call Center Supervisor because one of the not so busy employees documented each time he said hello or patted someone on the back. We are paying him $1.55 million dollars for wrongful termination and violation of his Civil Rights. We could hire Masterd Degreed operators with $1.55 million and hire 500 more Police Officers. Sgt. Paul Morris said there is no one in the 911 center that has a badge and gun to make a command decision.Do we need a certified Police Officer to sit in the call center when we do not have enough on the street to respond.
Here is my suggestion for free: N/C means no cost:

1.Have 311 Operators answer only 311 calls. Technology should make that possible
2.Cut hours for 311 complaints from 24 hours to 7AM until 11PM recorder will answer
after 11PM.N/C.
3.Leave call center at present location. N/C.
4.In Service training on language and words that have same meanings in different Cultures. N/C.
5.Publish handbook on Emergency and Non Emergency calls send to resident or post on web site: Postage

Please City Council do not put more money in a bucket that is already running over.

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