New director of Shawnee County Emergency Communications Center

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Newly appointed Interim Director of the Shawnee County Emergency Communications Center, Jeremy Rabb, listed three goals he had for the dispatch center at the Shawnee County Commission meeting Monday:

– Identify the obstacles to the communications center’s performance.

– Develop a plan that will be accepted by all partners.

– Execute that plan.

“It’s important that we return it to a state that the citizens deserve,” he says. “There are different perceptions about how it was operating. My perception is that it wasn’t too far off where it should be. There are certainly some things that need to be fixed internally that have been brought up by our partners.”

Those partners include the Topeka Police Department and Topeka Fire Department. There are 29 employees currently answering Shawnee County calls.

Sheriff Herman Jones says that workers have trouble managing emergency and non-emergency calls. KSNT put in a records request asking what the average amount of time is for a 911 emergency call to be answered.

From the beginning of the year to this month, a little more than half of the calls are answered within three seconds, but for the other half of those calls, dispatchers respond to those calls in four or more seconds.

More than 10,000 calls had a wait of seven seconds or longer.

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