About the Author
Mark Richardson is a multimedia journalist, editor and writer who has worked in digital, print and broadcast media for three decades. He is a nationally recognized editor and reporter who has covered government, politics and the environment. A journalism graduate from the University of Texas at Austin, he was recently awarded a Foundation for Investigative Journalism grant and has three Associated Press Managing Editors awards for excellence in reporting.
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More pay urged at city’s 911 call center
Austin Police Commander Julie O’Brien told Public Safety Commissioners on Monday that the city should consider raising the pay for 911 call takers and dispatchers. O’Brien said the starting pay for the positions, around $15 per hour for a call taker and $16 per hour for a dispatcher, is not adequate given the responsibilities and stresses of the job. “Compared to the work they do, (the pay) is not much,” she said. In addition to the relatively low pay, O’Brien said new call takers and dispatchers must complete a drug test, psychological exam and medical screening. Her comments on the pay were part of larger report she gave commissioners on the 911 call center’s staffing needs.
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