CHICAGO (CBS) — The head of Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications is defending the high amount of overtime his staff has been working, trying to keep up with emergency calls, reports WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore.

OEMC Director Gary Schenkel says the 500 or so 911 center call takers are burning through 14,000-16,000 hours of overtime every month.

North Side Alderman Scott Waguespack suggests that doesn’t make sense.

“What is the matter with hiring more people if you are basically going through 6-7 million dollars of OT? You are 20 people short per day,” said Waguespack.

Schenkel says part of the problem that a 911 system has been installed this year and now they should get scheduling under better control with an automated system.

“So I anticipate a reduction next year, How much of a reduction I can’t tell,” said Schenkel.

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