Sunday, 19 August 2012

The Sunday Scrub: What's the 411 on 119?

 What’s the 411 on 119

:Improving Emergency Call Centers  

The Portmore police came under stern criticism from concerned citizens in the area, after reportedly responding to an emergency involving a woman allegedly beaten and raped in Kingston, then mysteriously ended passed out in a shopping complex and in the nieghbouring parish of St.Cathrine (the initials reports were unclear of the lady’s state of mind), 6 hours after the original calls to the emergency call center were made.

The Head of the local Portmore division was recorded saying “The Jamaican people need to find out their local police station number and stop calling 119, because the Control Center is flooded with calls, prank and otherwise, please learn your local station numbers”.

The statement maybe factual and well intended, in prompting us the public to take CORRECT actions to know the quickest ways to get help when needed and make the adjustments to secure our lives and properties. 

Improving the System

The question still remains, How many persons will instinctually call their direct local Police Station phone number (7 digits) when need arise instead of 119 (3 digits)? We have thought our children from toddler age that the number they need to know and call for any emergency is 119 (before mom and dad’s number).

Earlier this year, we heard that the number of prank and calls not relating to an Emergency  for 2011 were 6.7 million, its clear that the system need a boost for us to avoid these challenges.

There seems to be a push for Jamaica to gain employment and capital from outsourcing Call Centers, with the Government pushing for foreign and local investors to take to task the building and outfitting of said Centers. Using the focus on Call Centers as a drive to put Police and other Control Centers in each parish and linking the standard 119  to its coordinating Parish Control Centers. We must seek to improve the technology that are used in our control centers, just as we are developing the Information Communication and Technology sector. (ICT)