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KCTV5 Investigates: When calling 911, be prepared to wait

Updated: Nov. 18, 2021 at 7:00 PM CST
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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- When calling 911, you expect a fast response. After all, it’s an emergency.

KCTV5 Investigates has done numerous reports on the wait times for 911 callers and they recently checked back to see how the numbers stack up.

There are national standards:

National averages as of Nov. 2021.
National averages as of Nov. 2021.(KCTV5 News)

But, Kansas City Police have struggled with hold times.

“Obviously, we would always like to have one second -- like experiencing no hold time, no wait time whatsoever,” said Sgt. Jake Becchina, Public Information Officer for the KCPD.

We found that, in Kansas City this year, the average hold time is 17 seconds. But, recent months have been longer:

  • August average hold time: 23 seconds
  • September average hold time: 24 seconds
  • October average hold time: 19 seconds

Of course, we’re looking at averages, so some hold times were faster and some were longer. In September, if you needed help on a Friday, the hold time was an average of 38 seconds.

In October, the day with the longest hold time was Wednesday, at 22 seconds.

Sgt. Jake Becchina told KCTV5 Investigates that, like many businesses, it is tough to find the right people to fill positions. Fewer call-takers means longer hold times.

“One of the things we need more than anything right now is people in our communications unit -- people answering those 911 calls and people dispatching police officers to those scenes to help people,” said Becchina.

Nov. 2021
Nov. 2021(KCTV5 News)

The department can promise every workday will be different. Go to careers.kcpd.org to check openings and apply.