ARIZONA NEWS

Understaffed Phoenix 911 dispatch center looking to fill 43 vacancies

Mar 19, 2021, 4:35 AM | Updated: 9:14 am

(AP Photo/Kelley McCall)...

(AP Photo/Kelley McCall)

(AP Photo/Kelley McCall)

PHOENIX – The first line of defense in helping with emergencies in Phoenix is understaffed.

There are 43 vacancies to date within Phoenix’s dispatch center.

Sgt. Mercedes Fortune said the Phoenix Police Department has been actively recruiting to fill these positions for the last two years.

However, Fortune said the need for 911 dispatchers often seems to be overlooked while most conversations are focused on the shortage of police on the streets.

Phoenix has 2,940 sworn officers. The department would be fully staffed at 3,125.

Not only does the city continue to recruit police officers, but they are also working to fill the vacancies within the dispatch center as the shortage of 911 response becomes a top concern.

“That job is probably one of the most crucial positions within our organization,” Fortune said. “They’re the ones who send officers – so for our community to be confident that when they dial 911 there’s going to be someone to pick up that phone.”

The job is described as high stress and demanding. The department is looking for folks who can sit or stand while on the telephone and can use multiple computer monitors for eight to 12 hours per day.

The department wants multitaskers who are able to react under time-sensitive, stressful and critical situations.

People can learn more about the position and apply online.

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Understaffed Phoenix 911 dispatch center looking to fill 43 vacancies