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Cincinnati Council To Vote On More Money For 911 Center

One of several large monitors inside Cincinnati's emergency communications center.
Cincinnati Police Department
One of several large monitors inside Cincinnati's emergency communications center.

Two Cincinnati Council committees are holding a joint meeting Tuesday to provide funding for some immediate upgrades to the emergency communications center.  

Acting City Manager Patrick Duhaney is making several requests.  He said they include overfilling call-taker and dispatch positions.

"Say that the table of organization for staffing at the ECC is 108 employees, we're going to ask council for permission to overfill up to 120 employees," Duhaney said. "So, knowing that it's a high-retention, high-burnout rate, we're never going to stop hiring. We're always going to keep advertising, training staff, so we can always have them ready to step in on the floor and answer phone calls."

In addition, there would funding to hire 11 new people.

"This staff will focus on IT needs, additional supervisors for the emergency communication center, also two high-level supervisors to help us always continue to train," Duhaney said.  

Money would also be available to purchase new chairs for the emergency communications center, freshen up the paint, and create breakout rooms where staff could go to decompress after certain incidents.

Police Captain James Gramke, who's in charge of the emergency communications center, welcomes the additional resources.

"I believe that they're giving me everything I need in the short-term, and then we're going to talk about a long-term plan that we can make sure that we continue our progress here," Gramke said.

The center has been under scrutiny since the death of 16-year-old Kyle Plush on April 10.

Plush died after calling 911 twice. He told the first call-taker he was stuck inside his minivan located in the parking lot at Seven Hills School.

A police car was dispatched but the officers were unable to locate the vehicle since they didn't have a description.

Plush's second call to 911 was answered by a different dispatcher. He provided more detailed information about the vehicle in that call, but it was reportedly never shared with the officers who were still on the scene.

Plush's family found him in the van about six hours later.

Police Chief Eliot Isaac said the internal investigation is underway and officials are working to release a report as soon as possible.

Body camera footage released Friday showed the two officers who responded never exited their patrol car to check vehicles. Isaac said he would have more to say about that when the report is released.


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Jay Hanselman brings more than 10 years experience as a news anchor and reporter to 91.7 WVXU. He came to WVXU from WNKU, where he hosted the local broadcast of All Things Considered. Hanselman has been recognized for his reporting by the Kentucky AP Broadcasters Association, the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and the Ohio AP Broadcasters.