City, police officials announce 911 center action plan

City, police officials announce 911 center action plan
Cincinnati's 911 call center (FOX19 NOW/file)
Cincinnati's 911 call center (FOX19 NOW/file)

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - City and police officials announced their action plan Monday for the city's troubled 911 call center.

Acting City Manager Patrick Duhaney, police officials and others outlined several proposed changes before City Council's Law and Public Safety Committee.

They said their 12-month plan includes more staff and training; a team to oversee hiring and training; an outside review of operations and assessing whether 12-hour shifts for dispatchers are most effective.

They pledged to answer 90 percent of 911 calls in less than 10 seconds, which is above the national average, and investigate any hour that drops below 75 percent.

They said they plan to research top emergency communication call centers regionally and across the country to see best practices that might be implemented as part of the plan.

They also explained the current systems in place at the 911 call center and recent upgrades to the dispatch system and the application that run inside police cruisers.

The city's 911 center answers 850,000 on average per year, or nearly 2,500 calls a day.

Last week, City Council approved spending nearly a half million dollars to help increase 911 capabilities and to hire nearly a dozen new employees including five dispatchers.

The 911 center came under fire earlier this month when a 16-year-old Seven Hills School student died despite calling 911 twice when he became trapped in his family's mini-van.

In light of Kyle's Plush's death, Mayor John Cranley and other elected officials have called for a review of the city's 911 center, which has been plagued with issues for years.

A police investigation into Kyle's death also has been underway. Chief Eliot Isaac is expected to announce the findings in a special Law & Public Safety Committee meeting at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

"Today is an opportunity to look at the 911 call center," Vice Mayor Chris Smitherman said. "We are 30,000 feet in the air. All members of council will have plenty of time to dig down and ask all the questions they want to ask on Wednesday."

Smitherman said he wants to tour the 911 call center in 60 days to see the progress made.

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