KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Police Department has been under fire from the public about some residents waiting on hold before 911 emergency operators answered their call.
At City Hall Wednesday morning, police leaders updated some city council members about efforts to reduce wait times.
This year, 168,333 people called the 911 Kansas City Police Department Emergency Call Center. Police revealed to the City Council that the average caller waited 21 seconds in April before a 911 operator responded. In March 2018, 911 callers waited an average of 16 seconds.
KCPD Maj. Daniel Gates, head of Logistical Support, explained that the goal is to have calls answered in less than 5 seconds. He explained to the council members that a staffing shortage is a key reason callers have to hold.
The Call Center is down 19 employees. Some new employees are being trained and police are considering changing shift-times so more operators are on duty during high volume call-times.
"We're currently on an 8-hour shift. We're looking at some 10-hour shift options where we can not only provide more time off but overlap during our busier shift times," said Gates.
Gates also believes the proposed shift changes will also help reduce stress, fatigue, and burnout that often cause 911 operators to quit.