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D.C. 911 Dispatch Faces Staffing Crisis Amid Surging Violent Crime Spree

Only half of the Washington D.C. call center staff was available for work last week, raising questions about their preparedness amid the city’s spiking crime.


Washington D.C.’s 911 center is faced with a severe staffing shortage as violent crime surges in the nation’s capital.

Last week, only 50 percent staff availability led the emergency agency’s interim director, Cleo Subido, to implement mandatory overtime, as first reported by STATter911.

“We are committed to following the rules and being transparent about it,” Subido wrote to employees. “Anything that gets in the way of us improving performance, treating each other with respect, providing our responders and constituents with the care they deserve, or meeting the objectives of our mission — I will handle without delay.”

The staffing shortage is a product of employees on a combination of family leave, personal leave, and sick leave, causing a crisis in the emergency department unable to meet its goals of public safety.

Subido however, also took issue with employees slacking on the job.

“Currently, the District is paying us for 12 hours and we are plugged into the radio for less than seven hours for the most part,” she wrote.

The email comes as crime is on the rise in D.C., with homicides in 2021 already outpacing 2020, a year which had already hit a 16-year high.

On Thursday evening, terror struck a popular neighborhood in northwest D.C., when a drive-by shooter injured two, according to Fox News, and sent those nearby running for their lives.

By Thursday, police data shows the District has seen 106 homicides, eclipsing last year’s number at the same point by one. Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered the policy department “to use any overtime necessary” to meet the challenge posed by rising crime rates.