SLMPD Operations 911 is 32 short dispatchers, 2 supervisors, and 2 managers. To cover the services, they had two dispatchers covering six police districts.
Street. Louis – St. Louis 911 leaders’ move to cover staffing shortages has union representatives concerned.
An email was sent out this weekend explaining that “due to severe staffing issues” police traffic for Districts 1-3 will be covered by a dispatcher along with other Business Districts 4-6.
There will be two people covering all police traffic for the city’s six districts.
“Over the years, it hasn’t been unusual for them to have two areas patched together for one dispatcher to handle, but to see two areas and three and most of them all a little…” St. Louis Police Officers Association business manager Joe Steiger said backtracking before adding, adding , “This may lead to some problems.”
The email acknowledges that officers may have difficulty accessing, saying, “If you have an emergency and cannot access a radio, please use your emergency buttons.”
“There used to be nine counties. It’s down to six now. So the volume of calls is much greater than it used to be. And so having multiple districts on one channel, that’s a risk for police officers. It’s not,” Steiger said.
The Police Ethical Society reiterated this statement made 5 by you with the following statement:
“The ESOP would like to thank all of the 911 dispatchers and residents for their dedicated hard work in keeping the city safe.
“Not having enough 911 raters/dispatchers means emergency calls are delayed or unanswered for our citizens. Frustration with long 911 wait times and frequent calling without anyone receiving means many calls will go unanswered and emergencies will go unanswered.”
“Dispatchers have three patched areas together sometimes. Calls for PD, Fire, and EMS are diverted through the SLMPD 911 system. When these types of calls go unanswered, bad things happen—criminal accidents and medical emergencies with no assistance and structures on hand.” Fire, possibly with people inside.
“There have been dangerous levels of manpower in the unit—sometimes only two people are answering shifts. Intense stress and mounting pressure is falling on the few underpaid 911 residents who are doing their best to answer incoming calls from angry, frightened citizens.” And the restless.
“The dispatchers we currently have are dedicated to serving this city despite a low workforce, low morale, and high staff turnover. These dispatchers are city dwellers, and yet they have been treated poorly. Last summer, the dispatch unit refrigerator broke and the ESOP did And the Park Rangers along with the SLPOA deliver water to hardworking workers who get very low salaries.
“The ESOP was told that some elected officials had called 911 and could not get an answer. These officials used their political influence to obtain services by contacting other elected officials who then called the SLMPD command rank. The average citizen who pays taxes does not have that luxury.” .
“This situation is such a critical problem that our elected officials need to prioritize reform, especially by increasing wages to attract more missionaries and residents. Our employees and citizens of our city deserve better.”
The city has outlined plans to streamline 911 services, by bringing the three dispatch services — police, fire, and emergency medical services — under one roof. But union leaders said the main problem is wages, and they are waiting for their chance to make an impact.
“I think the idea of combining services is something we can definitely talk about,” Steger said. “The biggest problem with that is that the police union represents the police dispatchers. The fire union represents the fire dispatchers. And none of us as far as I know at the table have ever had any discussions about what that looks like. It seems like the best way to get an idea of how to do this work is Ask the people who actually do the job.”
The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department says there are 32 short dispatchers, two superintendents, and two superintendents.