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Officers Could Be Asked to Staff 911 Call Center

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The city's new 911 call center has come under fire for so-called outages — and now adequate staffing is becoming a concern, police say.

The NYPD is discussing ways to increase the 911 civilian operator staff — including assigning uniformed officers to answer calls, according to police spokesman Paul Browne.  

"Periodic, large numbers of people calling in sick has to be addressed," Browne said.

He said on holidays and weekends that the city’s $2.2 billion call center is understaffed, and said during one Sunday in May, 250 of the 570 operators called in sick. The union did not respond to request for comment.

Meanwhile, the new 911 call center has been criticized for what the mayor calls “glitches.” City officials say human error accounts for many of the recent delays, including the four-minute delay in sending an ambulance to a recent crash that killed a toddler on the Upper West Side.

The FDNY has been critical of the system and blamed it for delays in responding to 911 calls.

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