13 February 2021

911 Problems in St. Louis

And the bureaucrats response would be funny, it wasn't so sad. Alarming News 4 investigation reveals lengthy 911 delays in St. Louis | 'It's very shocking'

When you call 911 you need help. If you call 911 in St. Louis could be put on hold for many minutes.

His calls to 911 were put on hold and then the same happened again; men with guns in his neighborhood and 911 calls. "It took over five minutes to get ahold of somebody. In that time someone pulled out a gun and started shooting," Stokes said.

They go on at length, about national averages, what other cities and counties are managing, but the bit that caught my eye was the following.

The department is currently 18 dispatchers short of being fully staffed and Elston said it's due to a high turnover.

“Sometimes people get in there and say 'this is not for me, I don't want to do this' Because they see how fast-paced it can be. The stress of it,” Elston said.

Although Howard is no longer with the department, he said it's clear the city needs to pay its dispatchers more and "someone in leadership needs to step up and say this is a problem and someone needs to solve it."

But instead of paying people more, management decided to spend money on a new software program.

The department recently announced a new software system that will allow them to better prioritize 911 calls over non-emergency calls. They hope the new system will improve their numbers significantly.

The sad thing is, they probably think the new software will help them solve their staffing issues. It won't. And given that they are implementing a new system, my guess is that they view their 911 operators as drones, not as people, which probably also contributes to the turnover. That last bit is just a guess.

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