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Perry County Experiencing Shortage in Dispatch Workers

In Perry County a decrease in funding is partly to blame for a shortage of workers at the Tell City Dispatch Center.

Posted: Sep 29, 2021 11:51 AM

Dispatchers play a vital role when it comes to an emergency situation by helping people seek help quickly.

An aspect dispatcher Micah Jackson, knows a lot about.

"Every time that phone rings we take that call as serious as we possibly can," said Jackson.

But in Perry County a decrease in funding is partly to blame for a shortage of workers at the Tell City Dispatch Center.

There, dispatchers work 12 hour shifts but with the shortage, it's causing them to work up to 16 hours some days.

With an increase in 911 calls, it can take dispatchers longer to answer the phone, something they don't want to happen.

"You don't want a 911 call to have to go unanswered because an operator is trying to prioritize by themselves in a room when it goes crazy," said Roger Smith, the Tell City Assistant Police Chief.

Chief Smith said the city dispatch answers the calls for the entire county, that's based on contracts and a portion of taxes from those communities, But according to him County commissioners are considering going another route.

"When you call 911 you're calling at the worst time of your life, so you want to summons that help, you want that call to be answered," said Chief Smith.

While commissioners consider not renewing the contract, Chief Smith says hiring has been in limbo.

44 News did reach out to the County Commissioners and we're still waiting on a response.

"If it's not broke, don't fix it, why would you want to disassemble something that's working perfect here." said Chief Smith.

In the meantime, Chief smith is hoping they can continue providing this necessary service for Perry County, as they have for the last 50 years.

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Our third day in a row with very mild temperatures. Highs across the Tri-State were in the low and middle 60's. A few showers at times crossed the area. A cold front will push through the Tri-State and will cause a few strong storms, that could have strong winds and even some torrential rain. Some flash flooding is a possibility. Strong winds overnight switching from the southwest to the northwest and may gust as high as 30 mph.
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