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Posted: February 22, 2011 6:53 p.m.

9-1-1: By the numbers

Covington/Newton County 911 has released its annual report and calls have exceeded the 110,000 mark for 2010, increasing 4 percent since 2009, but without an increase in staff.

According to the report, calls for law enforcement were up 1.73 percent from 2009 with fire calls up 20.18 percent. The Newton County Sheriff’s Office had the largest percentage of calls, at 53.05 percent (62,511), followed by Covington Police, with 24.57 percent (28,962) and Porterdale Police, with 4.09 percent (4,818).

Total processed calls were done from 2009 (303,736 to 232,255), but the time to process a call increased.

"Our average call processing time, the time elapsed from acceptance of the address, to assignment of the unit, increased by 54 seconds in 2010," according to the report. "We are still within the parameters of our policy, which states that calls will be assigned within 120 seconds. The total calls for service entered into Spillman (the law enforcement computer program) increased by 2,078. This is attributed to an increase in on-site calls and traffic stops initiated by the field units. Whereas the total incoming phone calls decreased, the number of outgoing calls increased. The abandonment rate for the 911 lines decreased by 3.43 percent. The call takers processed more phone calls in 2009, but the number of officer initiated calls increased in 2010. This increase could be explained by the creation of a traffic division for the Newton County Sheriff’s Office."

Although the workload has increased, the staff at the 911 center was able to complete 1,677.65 hours of training in 2009. Also, eight employees received commendations during 2010.

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