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‘It’s not necessarily our fault, but it is our problem’


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Staffing shortages are being blamed for longer wait times when people call 911 to report local emergencies.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s goal — and the industry’s standard — is to answer 90% of all calls in 10 seconds or less.

That’s not happening.

At Monday’s City Council meeting, Deputy Chief David Robinson said only 60% of Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s 911 calls are being answered in 10 seconds or less. Some callers, he said, can wait as long as one to five minutes.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s 911 operators last year answered more than 1 million call, Robinson said, with about 30% of those calls classified as “duplicate calls.”

“I think about it myself,” he said. “If I call 911 and say, ‘Hey, I just witnessed an accident or somebody got assaulted…” I don’t have time to listen to voicemail, and I certainly don’t want to listen to the phone ring and ring and ring.”


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