Grapevine Police Department's 911 dispatchers received a 21.5% pay increase along with a new job title as part of a strategy to combat staffing shortages, according to a May 23 news release.

Starting salaries now range from $52,208-$73,091 based on experience, making Grapevine’s dispatchers among the highest paid in North Texas, the release stated.

The Grapevine Police Department also renamed the job title from telecommunicators to emergency communications specialists to more accurately reflect their duties, the release stated.

“Emergency communications specialists are the true first responders,” Emergency Communications Manager Kellie Hayney stated in the release. “When every second counts during an emergency, their skills with a caller can be the reason a life is saved. We are grateful to the city and department for recognizing their importance and the need to attract the best candidates to serve our community.”