Broward County Commission will vote on raises for 911 operators
911 call takers for the Broward County Sheriff’s Office could soon be getting raises.
That’s after the Broward County Commission voted Tuesday to draft a plan that would give BSO $4.75 million for salary increases.
According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, staff shortages have led to an increase in unanswered and abandoned 911 calls.
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Commissioner Mark Bogen argued that BSO needed to be removed from handling 911 communications and suggested an expert be brought in. Sheriff Tony disagreed and a shouting match between the two followed.
Sheriff Gregory Tony said the money is part of the solution for hiring and keeping dispatchers on staff. Many operators are leaving to higher paying jobs in Palm Beach County, he told commissioners, as he asked for the money.
“And in essence what we've done is instituted an increase of 5% and you look at the proposal for BSO, we're 5% higher than Palm Beach County. That's where we need to be, that's where we're going to be pushing our path,” he told commissioners.
This was the second meeting about the staff issues, which Tony and commissioners listed off as poor morale, low pay compared to other employers, hostile working conditions, insufficient attention to their mental health and dozens of vacancies.
Commissioner Jared Moskowitz proposed giving BSO the money before the end of the fiscal year.
“That is not the end all be all solution — we're obviously going to debate this. We're gonna have disagreements with the sheriff's office for months and months ... but in the meantime I think collectively we can work on at least trying to stop the bleeding,” he said.
Commissioners will vote on giving BSO the money on May 24.