Staffing shortfalls lead to longer 911 hold times, backlogs
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Clerks at the Anchorage Police Department say they’re increasingly overwhelmed with paperwork and dispatchers are swamped with calls, as the department has added about 100 new police officers in three years without hiring additional support staff.
The Anchorage Daily News reports that means the public is spending more time on hold when calling 911 or when dialing a non-emergency number to file stolen vehicle reports. Empty dispatch jobs may mean a delay in an officer showing up to a crime.
The administration of Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz says it aims to beef up other parts of the police department.
It’s not yet clear where the money for more support staff will come from. The dispatchers and records clerks the managers are asking for could cost about $600,000 in salaries.
Information from: Anchorage Daily News, http://www.adn.com