In the growing city of San Jose, emergency dispatchers at the city’s police department are finding it increasingly difficult to keep up with the high volume of calls the station receives every day.
NBC Bay Area has received several reports over the past few weeks of people waiting a long time before their call is answered if they even get to it.
The San Jose Police Department acknowledged the problem and admitted the need for more dispatchers just to keep up with the calls which are averaging to over 1500 a day.
“Often times we have to pull those dispatchers from answering those nonemergency calls and help the dispatchers answering our emergency calls,” said San Jose Police officer, Gina Tepoorten. “That’s our priority is answering those 911 calls.”
According to officials, because of the lack of dispatchers, nonemergency calls have to wait longer for an operator to respond, and the wait can sometimes be up to 20 minutes.
“Our staffing levels are where they were in 2006,” said Tepoorten. “Here we are 12 years later and we know San Jose is a growing city. The number of calls that we’re getting increases every year.”
San Jose officials say they could use 13 more dispatchers just to keep up with emergency and non-emergency calls, but they admit, with how quickly San Jose is growing, the need for dispatchers will continue to grow.