A Crisis Made in Oakland

Where your 911 call is answered by an overworked employee in an understaffed department.

The City of Oakland is suffering from an understaffed 911-dispatch department.

With a months-long training period, 911 dispatcher roles cannot be easily filled. As colleagues suffer from work-related injuries, like carpal tunnel, their fellow dispatchers must work mandatory overtime hours to ensure all emergency calls are answered.

Imagine you call 911 during a life-threatening disaster, but due to chronic understaffing and retention problems, someone working their sixteenth hour straight must answer your call. It is not right, nor safe, to rely on mandatory overtime as a fix to an understaffed department. With the lowest wages in the Bay Area, the City of Oakland cannot expect to retain staff while forcing workers to work hundreds of mandatory overtime.