Las Vegas Police Need 911 Dispatchers - 8 News NOW

Mark Sayre, I-Team Reporter

Las Vegas Police Need 911 Dispatchers

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Last month, Eyewitness News was first to tell you about staffing shortages at Metro's main communications center. The police department is working to fill more than 80 open positions.

On Wednesday, hundreds of people began the process to help fill those slots. While this is a good start, it is not going to solve the problem right away.

Only a fraction of the more than 200 people who began testing will pass and also clear the required background checks.

The urgency for 911 center employees is apparent right from the beginning of the testing orientation.

Karen Krauss, with Metro's personnel department, said, "(I) want to stress that the dispatch specialists are one of the most important positions to the department, to the community. You are an integral part to get our services out to the community."

With number two pencils in hand, these men and women hope to someday be the "voice" on the other end of the line when you call 911.

Jamie Milburg is one of them. "I'm a good listener. And I'm going to do my best to get you calmed down, find out the information and get help to you as soon as I can and make sure you are taken care of and whoever responds is taken care of," she said.

Call takers and dispatchers are currently working mandatory overtime. Each employee works at least two-and-a-quarter hours of overtime a week. They are also subject to mandatory call-in.

Metro says it is constantly recruiting and it has a hard time finding qualified applicants because of the unique skills required.

Karen Krauss explained, "Well, I think what we are looking for in the dispatcher specialist is somebody who can multi-task, is very committed, takes the work seriously and bottom line wants to help people."

Those who pass Wednesday's written test will go into a second round of testing and then must pass a background check. For those who do make the final cut, it will be at least a year before they are fully trained.

Metro says another round of 911 center jobs will open on its website in about a week for the next testing session in December.

These jobs are so hard to fill the recruitment is nearly continuous. Jobs in the 911 call center range from $38,ooo to $56,000 a year.

Send feedback to I-Team Reporter Mark Sayre at msayre@klastv.com

 

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