Plymouth Co. Sheriff says communication center needs another dis - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Plymouth Co. Sheriff says communication center needs another dispatcher

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A dispatcher at Plymouth Co. Communication Center monitoring emergency calls alone. A dispatcher at Plymouth Co. Communication Center monitoring emergency calls alone.
LE MARS, Iowa (KTIV) -

Imagine calling 911 and getting no answer. That's apparently happened in Plymouth County.And that's why the Sheriff wants an extra 911 dispatcher.

"There are some calls that do go unanswered," Kirk Hatting.

Kirk Hatting is the Communications Supervisor for the Plymouth County Sheriff's Office. He says sometimes dispatchers are overwhelmed with emergency calls.

"When that happens you just hope that one of them is not a heart attack in there," Hatting said.

Sheriff Mike Van Otterloo says they've been struggling to come up with a budget to hire a new dispatcher. Jailers and other deputies, and even the Sheriff have had to fill in once in a while to keep up.

"I've been in here fielding calls once in a while, we know that it's not cheap, so we wanna do everything we can to get to the point where there is no other choice, we need more help," Plymouth County Sheriff Mike Van Otterloo.

That's why he asked the Plymouth Board of Supervisors for a nearly 9 percent increase in the County's communication center budget --to get at least one more dispatcher. He's optimistic.

"It seems to be very positive they know that I don't come in every year and ask for a 15 percent increase," Van Otterloo said.

So far, so good for the sheriff. After the meeting the supervisors took the first step approving his request, the final Communication Center's budget will be finalized later in March.

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