News : Newark Dealing with 911 Operator Shortage
Newark, OH, USA, Dec 3, 2015 -- The Newark Police Department is operating with fewer dispatchers in its 911 call center than usual.
According to Dave Arnt with the Patrol Bureau there are three dispatchers working in the call center.
He said that number is down from a total of eight dispatchers who typically cover all shifts.
Arnt said in recent months five dispatchers have taken on new positions.
Some have stayed with the Newark Police Department while others have taking jobs elsewhere.
Arnt attributes some of the job changes to an upcoming merger between the Newark Police Department’s and Licking County Sheriff’s Office 911 call centers.
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Barry Connell, Chief of Newark Police Department explains that both officers who patrol the streets and trained records personnel will help answer calls in the dispatch center so that safety for all residents is ensured.
"We knew there would be slim times, that we would have to make sacrifices if we do this. And actually everybody has stepped up. Our officers are trained to take phone calls, to respond to calls and in some ways they’re actually better equipped to know what a citizen needs when they receive that phone call," said Connell.
Newark’s mayor, Jeff Hall explained the decision to operate out of the county’s 911 call center will make better use of tax payers’ money while providing emergency responders with top notch technology.
"If we don’t make some adjustments and changes financing is gonna dry out," said Hall.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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