‘Broken’: Portland Residents Facing ‘Dramatic Increase’ In Wait Times For 911 Calls Following Efforts To Defund Police

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Portland, Oregon’s 911 emergency call system is “broken,” officials say, and callers who need help are often waiting more than two minutes for assistance, even though emergency calls are supposed to be answered in around 15 seconds. “People calling 911 to report a Sept. 4 shootout at a Pearl District restaurant and other emergencies in the following half-hour waited an average of more than 7.5 minutes before a dispatcher answered,” the Oregonian reported. “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.” An official with Portland’s Bureau of Emergency Communications called the situation “horrible” and “broken,” and said the agency’s own statistics show “an average hold time of a minute. But it also shows a dramatic increase of 911 calls on hold for two minutes or longer starting in late spring and summer.” “Another striking jump of calls on hold for more than five minutes occurred in May and July, according to bureau figures released to the newsroom,” the Oregonian reported.

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