VALLEJO, Calif. (KRON) — Vallejo Police Department’s nighttime 911 center might be closing down due to a shortage of staff.
Vallejo police announced in a press release Wednesday, that department was fully staffed in early 2020, but has faced a significant loss in employment in recent times. Officials say staff often leaves to work at other agencies in the region.
“On average, Vallejo’s dispatchers handle 400-500 calls per day and now routinely work with only two people in the dispatch center, not allowing for breaks or even basic trips to the bathroom,” Vallejo police stated in the press release. “Whereas five dispatchers per shift provide the most effective amount of resources for safe and efficient operation.”
Officials say they expect more employees to leave, which will require dispatchers to work mandatory 12-16 hour workdays or potentially outsource dispatch services for Vallejo.
“This critical staffing crisis, that significantly affects both the Vallejo Police and Fire Departments, has brought the department to be within one staffed dispatcher of not being able to provide 24-hour 911 emergency services to the community,” authorities explained.
The department is considering a plan that would stop 911 calls, police and fire dispatchers during nighttime hours, for the sake of keeping employees. No final decision has been made on the issue.
“Outsourcing these services will cause a disruption in emergency response from police, fire, and medical,” Vallejo police said.
Officials also believe making department employees work 16 hour days is “unsustainable”. They say residents need to know how this issue will affect their safety.
“Please let your elected officials know that your tax dollars should not be used to outsource dispatchers to an entity outside of Vallejo that may not be invested or intimately familiar with your Community,” the press release concluded.