KCPD Chief: 911 wait times are 'unacceptable'

Posted at 10:21 PM, Oct 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-20 23:21:54-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Police Chief Rick Smith is asking the city for an additional $9.3 million in funding for the next fiscal year in order to tackle issues such as 911 hold times.

In his blog post Thursday, Smith called the wait times “unacceptable.”

He wrote, “When you call 911 in a crisis, you should get an immediate response... It’s a major community concern, and it should be.”

According to records obtained by 41 Action News the average hold time increases from 26 seconds in August to 30 seconds in September. 

In September, one caller waited on hold for more than 22 minutes. So far, this month, the average wait time remains the same. 

“We are hiring and processing as many people as we can to get our numbers back up to where they should be, but our current budgeted positions are not enough,” Smith wrote. 

He suggested hold times could be improved if the department could hire 21 civilian dispatchers. That would cost just over $1 million. 

The department has also requested $720,000 for 30 more patrol officers. Smith said those costs would not be incurred until other police academy classes graduate.

Last year, the city council approved $243,014,663 for the police department. KCPD is asking for $251,879,047 for the coming fiscal year.