July 29, 2021
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Making the Call
San Antonio improved its average call answer times from 8 seconds to 1 second in the spring of 2018 and has maintained the progress for most of the time since then; it hired 100 additional dispatchers between 2017 and 2018 partially through extensive advertising and partially by offering two work location options once the pandemic began. Councilmember Mackenzie Kelly of Austin, Texas, which has been experiencing challenges with staffing, suggests City Council members spend at least an hour with dispatchers to understand the stresses of the position.
Full Story: KXAN-TV (Austin, Texas) (7/26) 
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Bakersfield, Calif., police dispatcher Brandy Watts also serves as a tactical dispatcher for SWAT operations and works with the police's drone unit. "I'm fulfilled by all of it," says Watts, who is also a cancer survivor.
Full Story: Behind the Badge (7/26) 
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Sumter County, Fla., has terminated its 9-1-1 staffing contract with American Medical Response. The county will likely begin hiring its own dispatchers and running its own 9-1-1 center.
Full Story: The Villages Daily Sun (Fla.) (7/28) 
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Improve Resident Reach Severe Weather Disasters
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Policy Pulse
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and Councilmember Lisa Herbold have proposed creating a "specialized triage response model" to have trained behavioral health professionals respond to some nonemergency 9-1-1 calls. The program would be funded with money freed up by the departure of over 250 police officers in the city.
Full Story: MyNorthwest (Seattle) (7/23) 
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Innovation Insights
Emergency management agencies can prepare to provide dispatchable location information and address future compliance needs with RAY BAUM's Act and other state requirements by customizing private switch/automatic location identification service and on-premises E9-1-1 applications. Ted Mallires of BAZ Group explains that such customization is necessary to "mitigate the shortcomings for [9-1-1 networks] serving larger installations and ensure future compliance."
Full Story: No Jitter (7/28) 
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RapidSOS has introduced a software interface for emergency communication centers that provides access to 20 partner software applications on one screen. The apps are from organizations including 911inform, Axon and NICE.
Full Story: American City & County (7/22) 
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If the ends don't justify the means, then what does?
Bob Moses,
civil rights activist, educator
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