Nassau 911 operators say they're short-staffed
Emergency 911 operators in Nassau County say they are short-staffed, leading to longer wait times.
As News 12 Long Island previously reported, a Massapequa mother called 911 earlier this week when her 18-month-old son was having a seizure. She says she got a recording telling her that her call would be answered when an operator was available.
Representatives for the Civil Service Employees Association union say there were only three 911 operators on duty that day, and budget and staffing cuts have led to more callers being put on hold and more system delays.
In a statement issued earlier this week, Acting Nassau Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter told News 12 that there was enough on-duty staff when the Massapequa family called. He says 97 percent of 911 calls are answered within 10 seconds.
"For anybody to say that there were three people working at the communications center in Nassau County, that's disingenuous," says Krumpter. "We perform at a higher level than the vast majority of police departments in the country."
Nassau police dispute the staffing levels reported by the CSEA. Police tell News 12 Long Island that there were 175 911 operators back in 2011 compared to 184 today.
Though union members say the county has recently hired more 911 operators, they say it hasn't changed the number of staff on duty on a daily basis.
"They need to put them to work. They can't just have them standby and not increase the staffing level," says CSEA president Jerry Laricchiuta.