Emergency callers put on hold amid staff shortage, Nassau operators say
(10/04/06) MINEOLA - When Nassau residents call 911 in an emergency, operators say they may be put on hold.
Some 911 operators say as few as two people answer emergency calls during the overnight shift. These civilian operators, represented by the CSEA union, believe police headquarters ordered the Nassau Emergency Center to reduce overtime pay. Union leaders say they will follow up on the situation with Commissioner James Lawrence. According to county officials, the overtime claim is erroneous.
Police say callers are not being put on hold for extended periods of time. They insist approximately 30 people are available to answer calls at most times. However, they admit these people do multitask while answering 911 calls with other responsibilities.