Thursday, June 17, 2010

Seven Times The DeKalb County Grand Jury Said There Was Indadequate Staffing At 911 Call Center. Today It Is At The Worst Level Ever.

A very revealing posting about past Grand Jury investigations into the 911 center.

Click here

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

If you think the 911 Center is understaffed you should take a look at the Crime Scene Unit. There are six crime scene techs left down there. It is so bad that Crime Scene's hours are 1000 hours to 2000 hours. The rest of the day is on-call. So even when ther're off they spend a large part of their time on-call.

I don't know how Wiz Miller and anyone else with Chief in their title can look at themselves in the mirror.

Anonymous said...

Grand Jury needs to investigate the police Pawn Unit. They fired the civilian who was in charge.

They are looking at years of mismanagement.

Anonymous said...

The same commissioners have been around for the last 8 years. It would appear that they would be on top of all the trouble in radio.

Agent99 said...

The Director and Chiefs have no control over the situation in Crime Scene. They have been fighting to regain the positions that the Commission deemed "unnecessary" because of their civilian nature and therefore cut from the budget.

LoFlyer said...

This begs for some answers to some basic questions.
1) How much does 911 fees bring in a year?

2) How much are 911 operators paid?

3) What is the total cost of all the 911 operator positions, supervisors and managers?

On a county wide basis, pay has always been a morale buster for DeKalb employees, especially in the professional positions, after Vern came in the buzz word from the administration was "World class service". They even sent us to a customer service class which I thought was a waste of time for me, because I had already been taught by the masters of customer service. High paid temporary consultants. Under Vern DeKalb was determined to provide "World class service" with "third world payscales" to the employees. Vern instituted his notorious "no-pay for performance" plan that effectively wiped out county raises that did not even keep with cost of living increases. During Vern's tenure employees lost about ten percent of their earnings to inflation after the two-three percent raises.
I had it out with Stognar over the issue and he told me I had not worked hard enough. Stognar had no idea what I did or how little or how much I worked.
The last time a pay study was done was in '97 and it was badly flawed in favor of labor. The GSU study indicates DeKalb employees are way underpaid but that study is also flawed according to the commissioners.
Pay is not everything in work, studies show that motivation to a goal or vision will make a person work harder for less pay.
DeKalb's BOC vision for employees over the last decade is to screw rank n' file employees at every opportunity.

Directors and Assistant directors were a different story, along with elected officials staffs. I know for a fact elected officials staffs were getting five percent raises when the rest of the county topped out at three. In the same time frame the BOC received a 100 percent salary increase and the CEO a fifty percent increase.

The CEO and BOC have no interaction with DeKalb employees. CEO Ellis remains barricaded in the 5th Floor Ponce building, and the BOC is rarely found in their offices. Much less touring the county facilities and talking to the employees.

One of my co-workers told me of a conversation he had with some commissioners after a good presentation, the gist was "You work for DeKalb County? You seem intelligent, why are you still here?"

The DeKalb BOC will not change their ways and continue to treat employees as dirt. If you are not qualified for a job elsewhere, than go to night school and gain the credentials needed and get the hell out of DeKalb government.

Y'all deserve better mates!

Anonymous said...

state of the art facility? heating and cooling systems? HA.that crap never worked.... 5 positions never worked since day 1 and 4 positions break down daily.. it looks state of the art if you look past the "position down" signs,,I wish the GRAND JURY would come up there without notice and without the supervisors and conroy breathing down our necks tryin to make sure we do the song and dance just like they want us to do...

Anonymous said...

Agent 99, "the commission deemed these positions unnecessary" line is a load of crap. Wiz Miller is part of Burell Ellis' cabinet. Burell Ellis has already submitted hundreds of positions, as critical, that need to be refilled from early retirements. If Miller, the head of public safety, can't convince the man he has a direct line to to add five or six more positions to that list; what good is he? I think its more likely that he is practicing the long time Dekalb County managment tactic of just sitting back and hoping for the best.

Anonymous said...

To 6/18 9:55:
No one wants to hear from you Shelia.
Secondly, yeah right, this was a really smart plan to retire and rehire people. How much is THAT process costing us? Just plain stupid I tell you.

LoFlyer for CITY MANAGER!!!

Anonymous said...

LoFlyer: At this point, who knows where the 911 fees are going. Years ago the 911 fees paid for ALL Communications employee's salaries (with the exception of the 911 Director) - INCLUDING ANY NEEDED OR MANDATORY OVERTIME - but then the Graham/Marinelli era hit and who knows what happened to those funds. My guess is the general budget got and probably still receives those funds. Another HUGE problem is the fact that they mention sworn personnel such as Conroy and Rava - who have NO idea what they're doing, have never handled a single emergency phone call and never worked a radio on a busy/rainy Friday night. Simply because a sworn Officer is competent on computers does not mean they're in a position to judge how to run or manage a 911 Center.

How many more studies must be made before the right people understand the problem? How much more of the taxpayer's money spent on ridiculous fishing expeditions only to come up with the same findings as before? Morale at an all-time low? No - say it ain't so! What a shock.

I realize the Communications employees are not the only ones who have miserable working conditions, but they're among the handful of jobs that have life-threatening consequences if people screw up.

Lastly, I agree with Anon # 1 - I too don't know how the "Chiefs" can look at themselves in the mirror.

Anonymous said...

It isn't the staffing is inadequate, it's the staff that is inadequate.

Anonymous said...

In all fairness, there ARE some good ones. How fun their work lives must be.

Anonymous said...

I have been employed with the Department for over 20 years. I remember when the radio operators knew the location of almost every landmark or business in the County. The radio operators of old would have known the location of Adams stadium. This new generation relies too heavily on the computer. If the location is not in the computer it does not exist. Are the operators not allowed to think outside the box or do they just not know how??

Anonymous said...

For your information,the SO unit working a partime,didn't have the address either genius..and yes some of us Senior Operators do know the location,unfortunately the operator who took the call has been with the county for less than 6 mos released on her own,we know a lot of things but if we don't dispatch to them often then NO you can't expect us or her to know the location..also when a citizen calls 911..it is the "assumption" that THEY know where THEY are at for THEIR EMERGENCY and provide us with the correct information!

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon June 19, 2010 3:17 PM. if we even think about putting in addresses that we KNOW that are right..and the citizen didnt tell us.. We are swiftly escorted to the lavish superrvisor's office to write a The page statment.Hell the cross street for Adams stadium was accurate.. too bad the idiots who sat at the intersection for 10 mins didnt speak up and say "Hey.. I dont know where Adams Stadium is"

Anonymous said...

STOP MOVING THE OPERATORS AROUND!!!!

Give them the position and precinct they prefer and leave them alone. Guaranteed service will be better. Not only that, let them so ride with officer on their off time. Give them time and a half. This is just an idea. As an East officer, I appreciate an operator on top of things. I know y'all get overwhelmed and I hear ya. We are all going through this madness together. Bring Vision Mobile back!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

DeKalb 911. "State of the art" = State of the Fart. Most of the operators have absolutely no knowledge of the area they dispatch. "Where's Toco Hills ? It' not in the 'puter". Quit hiring tourists !! Find people that are genuinely interested in helping people in crisis. Not standing up singing & dancing in the aisles and who's on Oprah.

Anonymous said...

To Anon poster @6:14am 6/25.
That was a very "broad" statement in ref to "most operators have absolutely no knowledge of the dispatch area". Let me just say this...we do have a lot of "new radio operators,however please DO NOT say most..I know the radio's,terr's,back-up unit if someone starts yelling,so please do not categorize or group operators together,there are so damn good operators up there and I will toot my own horn and say I am one of them..they problem that you are experiencing is that most of your Seniior Operators are stuck on Fire Dispatch,Operations I and II. Then you have those that are training or attempting to train newbies on call-taking. I am sorry you feel like "most" operators don't know,of course we could say the same thing about some officers..old and new but we don't. It appears to be a select "few" who always have something negative to say about radio instead of always being negative how about saying something nice,some of you officerrs are aware of our plight yet you still want to have you foot on our necks for no reason..I can't even tell you the last time I had my 3 off days,I work 6 days a wk,12 sometimes 14 hrs..not because I need the money but because I have family that lives in DeKalb and I would hate for them to get a recording if they ever needed 911. It is time for us to come together and work as a "team" we are NOT blogging negatively about PD so please stop w/all the negative comments,constant putting down of radio so we can all do what we are suppose to...assist the citizens of DeKalb...

Anonymous said...

Yes the 911 Call Center is understaffed and overtime is needed to cover the shifts. My concern was that supervisors were being allowed to work overtime at their higher managerial pay rate. They should be used as a last resort when it came to scheduling. Supervisors were allowed to select the "cream of the crop" time slots to work before approving vacant overtime openings to lesser ranking operators. Even with them on overtime schedules, we did not see them working in the capacity of "radio operator" or "call taker" but the county was paying them probably a minimum of $50-55 an hour overtime utilizing them to fill a vacant spot. Seems like a gross misuse or approval of departmental funds with a county so hard press for a balance budget. This practice needs to be eliminated immediately and open those slots to those who need the extra funds. Supervisor's do not work radios once promoted as they used to in the 80's and 90's...nor do all of them take 911 calls but watch calls pend. How many times I have heard a supervisor call across the floor, "Hey guys we got 911 calls pending, you know I do not take calls...we have a problem here." The department will never be what is used to be. There is no team work nor respect for one another. It is going to take great leadership to redefine that department and get each employee reunited. Radio operators are not above police officers. They are the life line for sworn personnel in the field and their main responsiblity is to successfully get each officer and fireman home each and every night to loved ones. Respect needs to work both way and that includes those arrogant officers who complain that radio cant keep up with every location in the county and trying to get through any shift with an inadequate and dangerous CAD system. I wonder how many East side officers can accurately name territories and beats in the North and Center Precinct and visa versa?? I would think it would be a high number guys.......I pray someone steps up to the plate and guides 911 back to its professional status we had prior to Marinelli days anbd that supoervisors and watch commanders need to lead by example.
They need to be prepared to man each and every position within the Communication Center at any given time and still have managerial staff on hand; whether it be due to lack of staffing or heven forbid a catastrophic event within the county. We expect it from Sgts and Lts in the field to handle a call every now and then. They may not like it but they do jump in to help their crew. Good Luck!!!!