By Taxpayers Association of Oregon,
This national outlet reports the 911 emergency call system in Portland, Oregon, is “broken,” and callers who need help are often waiting over two minutes for assistance, even though emergency calls are supposed to be answered in around 15 seconds.
The Oregonian reports: “The lengthy hold time is far above the national standard of 15 to 20 seconds for 911 calls and the latest example of serious problems plaguing the city’s emergency dispatch system.”
The city’s emergency communications department is also struggling to keep staff, with a dozen retirements or resignations over the past several months.
Portland officials have proposed having 311, the city’s information line, handle calls that do not necessarily require an emergency response, but 311 answers calls only between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays so this is not a feasible solution.
Just as crime increases and emergency call system wait times go up, Portland is struggling to keep police officers. A few months ago, dozens of Portland police officers resigned from the city’s rapid response team citing a lack of support, among other things, from city leaders.