When you call 911 is anyone listening?

When you call 911 is anyone listening?

. - A Cleveland 19 report on phone callers having problems getting through to Cleveland's new dispatch center drew quick response and will likely be examined by City Council's Safety Committee.

The dispatch system cost $1.4 million dollars, with an additional $800,000 spent on field reporting software.  Council members learned of it through other sources, not the city saying "We got a tweet or an email or something from AT&T that basically told us that the system was down."

All council members had a hard time learning what was going on.  Now we have obtained a letter from frustrated dispatchers to the city, written to higher ups in the department in November.

It warns of multiple problems with the systems software saying "sound quality is poor and fluctuates with each call."  That "there is distortion and echo on calls."

The dispatchers say it is so bad that it has the potential to cause a call taker to miss vital information or misconstrue what is being said.

There is a complaint that "the system slows down considerably when call volume increases, it puts people on hold in the middle of a call and d rops another call in and at times won't release calls."

There are two telling conclusions to the letter.  The dispatchers say "have never had such difficulty with call taking equipment nor have ever been so frustrated working a shift."

Finally, "with the RNC coming to Cleveland in the summer of 2016, the busiest time of the year, I think this system is going to fail to keep up with the call volume.

In Northeast Ohio we checked and only rural Geauga County uses the system that densely populated Cleveland uses.

And what about manpower at the dispatch center?  There are currently 85 dispatchers working, that is 14 dispatchers short of what is budgeted.

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