Joint Communications Center Waits on 911 Sales Tax

6 years 5 months 3 weeks ago Thursday, May 23 2013 May 23, 2013 Thursday, May 23, 2013 5:13:00 PM CDT May 23, 2013 in News
By: Julia Plant
loading

COLUMBIA -  Workers at the city-county joint communications center continue to wait for improvements to a facility that has not been updated since 1999. Voters approved a three-eighths cent sales tax increase in April to pay for improvements to the facility.   But that tax does not begin until October 1.

The current center has eight stations for monitoring radio frequencies and taking 911 calls and the employees who work those stations have worked about 2,300 hours of overtime since October 1.

Joint Communications Center Operation Manager Brian Maydwell said the employees at the call center are overworked and understaffed.

"The workload actually burns people out a lot faster than a normal profession would," Maydwell said. "Some people here are monitoring three radio frequencies as well as taking calls all at the same time."

Maydwell said the men and women who take 911 calls learn to be great at multi-tasking because they have to, but additional staff would allow people to focus on one task at a time. One person would monitor radio frequencies while another took phone calls.

These are some of the reasons Boone County voters approved the new three-eighth cent sales tax to help fund 911 dispatch and emergency management services. The tax begins on October 1, but the money won't be available until December.

Maydwell said that although the center will not have a say in how this new tax money is spent, County Auditor June Pitchford is working with the center to meet its needs. First on Maydwell's list is hiring more employees.

Columbia resident Nate Bacott said he does not know what it's like to be a 911 call-taker, but said he knows what it's like on the other side of the phone line. Bacott said he called 911 once after he woke up to two loud bangs, louder than gun shots.

"It didn't take too long, maybe 10 seconds until someone answered, but the woman on the phone seemed annoyed with me," Bacott said. "I guess she had already had three other calls about the noise and already sent out officers to check on the noise."

Bacott said he understands the woman was probably just tired of answering the same call, but her response didn't make him want to call 911 again.

"Working overtime is exhausting. I think more staff would defiantly help the call-takers to be a little bit nicer on the phone, and probably help them do their jobs better," Bacott said.

Maydwell said the tax money will help the center in other ways as well, such as updating the center's radios and eventually building an entirely new building with double the amount of stations to answer calls and monitor radio frequencies. But he said the first thing the center needs from the tax money is simple--more people.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA (AP) — The University of Missouri has received a $10 million gift from the Kinder Foundation, which will... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, November 14 2019 Nov 14, 2019 Thursday, November 14, 2019 4:18:38 AM CST November 14, 2019 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - The city will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony to unveil the new Columbia Sports Fieldhouse on Thursday. The... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, November 14 2019 Nov 14, 2019 Thursday, November 14, 2019 3:25:00 AM CST November 14, 2019 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - A Columbia man pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday for his connections to drug trafficking and a... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, November 13 2019 Nov 13, 2019 Wednesday, November 13, 2019 10:19:32 PM CST November 13, 2019 in News
FULTON - The Fulton Board of Education met Wednesday to discuss language on the April 2020 ballot regarding several of... More >>
10 hours ago Wednesday, November 13 2019 Nov 13, 2019 Wednesday, November 13, 2019 6:48:00 PM CST November 13, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - On World Kindness day, students and faculty at Russell Boulevard Elementary came together to honor former Columbia mayor... More >>
11 hours ago Wednesday, November 13 2019 Nov 13, 2019 Wednesday, November 13, 2019 5:56:00 PM CST November 13, 2019 in News
SWEET SPRINGS- As the I-70 Community Hospital sits dormant on the side of the interstate, the Sweet Springs Ambulance District... More >>
12 hours ago Wednesday, November 13 2019 Nov 13, 2019 Wednesday, November 13, 2019 5:12:00 PM CST November 13, 2019 in News
BOONE COUNTY - When you open the envelope from Boone County Assessor Tom Schauwecker's office , expect the numbers to... More >>
12 hours ago Wednesday, November 13 2019 Nov 13, 2019 Wednesday, November 13, 2019 5:00:00 PM CST November 13, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Community members will meet at Columbia City Hall to discuss a possible new affordable housing development Wednesday at... More >>
12 hours ago Wednesday, November 13 2019 Nov 13, 2019 Wednesday, November 13, 2019 4:42:00 PM CST November 13, 2019 in News
LAKE OZARK - The bodies of a Lake Ozark couple were sent to Southwest Missouri Forensics in Springfield for autopsy... More >>
13 hours ago Wednesday, November 13 2019 Nov 13, 2019 Wednesday, November 13, 2019 4:00:00 PM CST November 13, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Federal transportation safety investigators criticized the U.S. Coast Guard Wednesday for ignoring suggestions over... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, November 13 2019 Nov 13, 2019 Wednesday, November 13, 2019 3:09:00 PM CST November 13, 2019 in News
CAPE GIRARDEAU — A very special puppy from southeast Missouri is going viral for being a ‘unicorn.’ Narwhal has... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, November 13 2019 Nov 13, 2019 Wednesday, November 13, 2019 3:00:00 PM CST November 13, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - After the snow settled on Monday, icy conditions took over the roadways and sidewalks. The ice covered... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, November 13 2019 Nov 13, 2019 Wednesday, November 13, 2019 2:38:00 PM CST November 13, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA – Mobility Worldwide broke ground on their new manufacturing facility in front of a small crowd on Wednesday morning.... More >>
15 hours ago Wednesday, November 13 2019 Nov 13, 2019 Wednesday, November 13, 2019 2:21:00 PM CST November 13, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA – Vaping has continued to be a rising issue in the United States and Columbia. According to the Centers... More >>
15 hours ago Wednesday, November 13 2019 Nov 13, 2019 Wednesday, November 13, 2019 2:07:00 PM CST November 13, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — NASA says a meteor seen streaking through the sky behind the Gateway Arch in St. Louis... More >>
16 hours ago Wednesday, November 13 2019 Nov 13, 2019 Wednesday, November 13, 2019 1:21:00 PM CST November 13, 2019 in Continuous News
COLE COUNTY - A boil advisory has been issued for residents in Hickory Hill, just west of California, Mo. ... More >>
17 hours ago Wednesday, November 13 2019 Nov 13, 2019 Wednesday, November 13, 2019 12:09:00 PM CST November 13, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Boone County residents can help choose the design for the hottest accessory at the polls this year... More >>
19 hours ago Wednesday, November 13 2019 Nov 13, 2019 Wednesday, November 13, 2019 10:06:02 AM CST November 13, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The LGBTQ community, along with several organizations, will celebrate Columbia's ban on conversion therapy. "Conversion therapy" is... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, November 13 2019 Nov 13, 2019 Wednesday, November 13, 2019 7:29:00 AM CST November 13, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 33°
6am 30°
7am 30°
8am 31°
9am 32°