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Can Portland's 911 Call Center Step Up Its Game?

Here's a look at the numbers.

By James Stevens November 20, 2018 Published in the December 2018 issue of Portland Monthly

In 2017 the City of Portland released a report detailing concerns with the performance of its 911 call center, stating: “For years, chronic staffing shortages have threatened the Bureau [of Emergency Communication]’s ability to meet acceptable service levels. Insufficient staffing poses a threat to promptly answering 911 calls and dispatching the appropriate emergency response.” A year later, the center boasts new leadership and improvement, but the emergency number still has its own emergency numbers.


Average number of calls answered by Portland’s 911 call center per month


Percentage of peak-hour calls Portland’s dispatchers answered within 10 seconds in August 2018


Percentage that should be answered within 10 seconds, per National Emergency Number Association standard


Number of dispatchers working at Portland’s 911 call center as of press time (plus 15 in training)


Years new center director Bob Cozzie believes it will take to reach the national standard, if he adds five dispatchers per year to his staff


Number of emergency calls made in 2018 about a raccoon crossing the street


The nonemergency number (area code 503) to call for a neighbor’s loud party, vandalism, or, say, a raccoon crossing the street

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