LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – After a Working4You investigation, the 911 Director for Little Rock went before the City Board of Directors to talk about the work to continue informing the public on 911 practices and staffing concerns.

Little Rock 911 Center Director Juana Green discussed how it has been an uphill battle, especially considering her staffing level is only at 50%.

“Staffing shortage in the 911 industry is a nationwide issue at this time,” Green said.

After concerns over staffing issues and unanswered calls at the Little Rock 911 center, Green tried to explain the current status to the City Board and what needs to be done to make change.

“We are authorized for 65 individuals in our department, we currently have 33,” Green said.

Green said to help improve staff, she has worked with the mayor and the City Board to improve starting salaries and offer sign-on bonuses of $2,500.

She plans to create standard protocols and technology, and in August, she switched their schedule to make sure there is always someone at the center.

“These 12 hours shifts have afforded our employees the ability to have actual off days,” Green said.

Green said the department has had many new faces come through training, and she hopes to have almost 15 more by the end of the year.

“We have six new employees, they have transitioned to the floor for their on-job training and that is a 10-week process. that will be concluded May 6,” Green said. “May 8 we are geared up to start another new hire class. we are shooting for 12-15 individuals.”

She said they are also working on scheduling another class to come through in September.

When talking about call times, Director Green said the average time to answer 911 calls in 20 seconds or less is around 70%.

“Last year we finished the year at 79%,” Green said.

A big stressor she wanted to inform the public about is, no matter how long you wait on the phone, do not hang up.

“Our average callback time is within two minutes,” and “when you call, you are in a cue, the available operator will take that call. the longer the call is in the cue, the next available operator will take the next call. if you hang up, and you call back, you go to the bottom of the cue,” Green said.

Director Green said they working to try and fix the staffing issue, but in the end she wanted to point out and highlight the many times things are done right.