Berlin police operations center suffers from staff shortages and overload

The operations center of the Berlin police, with its stressful work and the many incoming emergency calls, suffers from a lack of staff and the police officers on duty are overworked. In response to a CDU request, the police and the Senate administration admit that the number of police officers who work there constantly could have been “improved” over the past twelve months.

The personnel deficit is partly compensated for by a “job shadowing program”. Police officers from other areas are assigned, often for a whole year. This is done “primarily on a voluntary basis”. A permanent solution should be worked out. The reasons for the high sickness rate could not be given, it said.

Because of the stress caused by the constant acceptance of emergency calls and the shift work, there are offers of talks from the psychosocial service as well as supervision and coaching offers. Internally, the police advertise and point out the “advantages of working in the operations control and situation center” in order to increase attractiveness.

On average, the operations center receives a 110 emergency call every 24 seconds, a total of around 3,700 calls a day. Around half of the calls result in an urgent need for a patrol car, the police said.

The job is comparable “with the speed and concentration in an air traffic control tower,” the police describe the activity on their website. “No call can wait (…) and the speed is rapid. It is not uncommon for people to suddenly have full concentration when they are in trouble. Every decision can save lives and health.” (dpa)

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