Council Committees Agree to $450K for 911 Call Center

Cincinnati Emergency Communication Center

( Cincinnati ) - City Council continues to address issues reported in the Emergency Communication Center as a part of the ongoing response to the death of 16-year-old Kyle Plush.

During a tour of the place where 911 calls in the City of Cincinnati are taken, Acting City Manager Patrick Duhaney outlined immediate upgrades he'd like to see at the ECC that included hiring. 

At a special joint meeting of Cincinnati City Council's Budget & Finance and Law & Public Safety Committees, Duhaney and the head of the ECC, Captain James Gramke, went into more detail about what they say will improve the facility. The proposal to transfer more than $450,000 to the ECC's fund "will allow us to improve morale, enhance IT capabilities, and add additional staffing," Duhaney said at Tuesday's meeting. 

"What this gives us is the authorization to hire up to 120 employees, so we stay fully staffed," Gramke said. That 120 is more than the number of workers needed to fully staff the facility, but Gramke says "we've realized that we need to be constantly recruiting, hiring, training, retaining" as a way to deal with attrition. Attrition was one of the many issues brought up in a special committee meeting last week to hear about ongoing problems at the ECC.

The men are also looking to upgrade equipment and integrate the various technologies used in the ECC to streamline communications with first responders.

Some council members expressed concern about this increase in spending, citing the likelihood that a new, multi-million dollar budget deficit is looming for the city. After about an hour, though, a vote was taken and it was unanimously in favor of Duhaney and Gramke's proposal.

A regular meeting of Cincinnati City Council is scheduled for Wednesday.

Duhaney also said that this proposal is only the first step, and that he'll present a "comprehensive action plan" by the end of the month.


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