2017-02-09 / News

County 911 annual report shows continued decline in police calls

By Bill Petzold

SAGINAW COUNTY –The number of overall calls to the Saginaw County 911 Communications Center for police assistance continued to decline in 2016.

Thomas Township treasurer Vern Weber presented board members with a copy of the Saginaw County 911 Communications Center annual report for 2016 at the regular township board of trustees meeting Monday evening. Weber serves as a member of the 911 Communications Center Authority board of directors.

Included in the document is a message from Saginaw County 911 executive director Randy Pfau explaining the information found in the report. Pfau stated the document lists the Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) events for police and fire departments within Saginaw County for the past 10 years.

“Some interesting statistics to note are that we received over 351,000 calls in 2016,” Pfau wrote. “On average, this amounts to just under 1,000 calls received per day. The highest call volume was in the month of July with 33,578 calls answered. Our least volume of calls answered was in January with 26,090 calls placed to 911.”

Saginaw County 911 employs 30 dispatchers, five supervisors and two administrative staff. Considering that 911 operates 24 hours a day every day, this is an average of six to eight dispatchers working every 12-hour shift.

“Per Lansing legislation and approval by the board of commissioners, a monthly fee of $2.65 is charged to all 911 capable devices,” Pfau wrote, explaining the system’s funding. “This not only helps fund 911 operations, but will also help to fund future equipment upgrades. Keeping equipment up-todate also benefits our residents.”

Of a total of 351,044 calls received by dispatch, 212,582 were made by dialing 911, while 138,462 were made dialing a seven-digit phone number. Those phone calls resulted in a total of 204,164 calls where authorities were notified and responded. Calls for police assistance made up 94 percent of those calls (192,478), while countywide 11,686 calls for fire department assistance were made in 2016.

Overall, police CAD incidents decreased by more than 1,100 calls compared with 2015. Saginaw Township saw a decrease of 837 calls from 2015 (29,584 calls in 2015, 28,747 in 2016), while Thomas Township had 82 more police calls than the previous year for a total of 6,166 in 2016. Saginaw County 911 received its fewest calls for police assistance since 2004. Police calls peaked at a total volume of 233,463 in 2007, and have declined every year since to reach 192,478 calls this year.

The number of calls for fire department assistance increased by 644 countywide for a total of 11,686. Saginaw Township received an additional six fire calls for a total of 742 in 2016, while Thomas Township fire calls spiked by 174 calls to 861 for the year. Countywide, the total number of calls fell into the usual range of about 9,500 to 12,000 calls annually. The report shows a peak of 15,286 countywide fire calls in 2003.

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