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Cayuga County 911 dealing with massive workload since discovery changes took hold

Cayuga County E-911 has some staffing issues that it needs to resolve.

At least that was the pitch heard by the Cayuga County Legislature this week when they met.

E-911 Administrator Denise Spingler addressed the legislators at a meeting on Wednesday – asking for more staff – due to the constant struggle to keep up with discovery requests from the district attorney’s office, according to The Citizen.

Similar requests for more staff in different departments have been made throughout the region, as counties struggle to keep up with the 15-day deadline, which must be complied with under the new discovery laws passed in 2019.

Those were enacted on January 1st, but many counties began implementing some of the changes in the weeks leading up to that date – out of an abundance of caution.

The 911 Center has to collect between 20 and 100 pieces of audio for every arrest. That ranges from traffic stops to full-blown felony charges. It’s an involved process.

“Last year they weren’t called discovery requests, but the DA’s office would ask us for material for cases on any given month and we’d get maybe five to eight requests a month,” she said according to the Citizen’s reporting.

Here’s what the workload split looks like from 2019 to 2020. Last year a total of 11 requests were made for discovery material to the 911 Center in January and February.

This year? A total of 78 discover requests were made in January, and 32 had been made in the first two weeks of February.