Higher Pay Might Help Kansas City 911 Crisis

The newspaper takes aim at the police department but doesn't mention this . . .

Mayor Q & his council voting bloc have been fighting against police funding for years so our local politicos also have a great deal of culpability for slower response times. 

Still . . .

We wholeheartedly agree that paying dispatchers more is a good idea:

"The Police Department is the only public safety agency in the metro area that fails to meet national standards when it comes to answering 911 calls. The department has long explained that by pointing to a lack of workers. Its communication unit has had dozens of unfilled positions for months and has been talking about the problem for years. To understand how the staffing problem might be influenced by the starting pay offered to the employees answering the 911 calls, The Star reached out to several public safety agencies in the regional 911 system to compare with the Kansas City Police Department.

"Kansas City, at $20.48 an hour, fell on the lower end of starting salaries among the public safety agencies

"The Clay County Sheriff’s Office last year increased the starting annual salary for its dispatchers, who both take and dispatch calls, to $55,000, said Sarah Boyd, a spokeswoman for the Clay County Sheriff’s Office. That translates to about $26.44 an hour — almost $6 an hour more than Kansas City.

"Shawnee pays dispatchers a minimum starting salary of $49,617, said Emily Rittman, public safety information officer for the city. That’s about $25.79 an hour."

Read more via www.TonysKansasCity.com link . . .

KCPD is only local agency falling below national 911 standards. Would higher pay help?

The Kansas City Police Department is the only public safety agency in the area that doesn't meet national standards for 911 hold times. It also pays less than most. Would higher wages for call takers help?