NYPD to Hire 150 More Staffers for 911 Call Centers

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New York City is planning to hire another 150 staffers for its 911 call centers, police said Friday.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said the newly hired call-takers will be civilian employees of the NYPD and will answer 911 calls and dispatch NYPD radio cars. About 1,100 people already work in the centers.

"We've been looking at this for a while and the decision has been made in the last few days," Kelly said.

The NYPD was already planning to hire additional staff but after recent problems with the 911 and EMS systems, officials are ramping up the plan.

The emergency call system failed several times this week, forcing call takers and dispatchers to use paper and pencil to take down information.

The giant 911 system is in the process of being upgraded at a total cost of $2 billion, including a new backup center.

The piece that failed Monday was EMS dispatch, a system from the 1980s that's scheduled to be upgraded in 2015.

There have been glitches in other, newer parts of the system that have prompted criticism.

The city's 911 system has been plagued with problems in recent weeks, including outages in the first week that it was launched, and accusations that an ambulance was delayed in getting to a 4-year-old girl hit by a car.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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