Broward's 911 emergency dispatch system provides pretty good service. It's the management and technology that needs fixing, says a consultant's in-depth examination of Broward County's fledgling regional dispatch system.
"The system is performing better than what the perception was out there," said Alphonso Jefferson, assistant county administrator. "There's some opportunities for improvement."
The county's system has been dogged by complaints, mistakes and bad publicity in its two-year existence. But Missouri-based Fitch & Associates said compared to other large, urban 911 systems, it's not that bad.
When it comes to answering 911 calls, the report says, "the Broward system actually exhibits some of the best performance seen in large 911 centers across the nation." But managers are fixated on performance goals that aren't necessarily worth fixating on, the consultant said. The various parties involved — the sheriff's office, the county and the city police and fire chiefs — don't trust one another. Employee morale is rock bottom. Technology is flawed, though improvements are coming. And the system isn't understaffed, the report says. In fact, it's overstaffed.