9-1-1; What Is Your Emergency?

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Criminal Charges for Dispatcher, Lost 911 Calls

Back in September of 2013 it was reported that Charleston County (SC) Sheriff's investigator's arrested a 911 center calltaker on criminal charges after they found she took at least 45 telephone calls for service since January of 2013, but failed to enter information for a police or medical response.  The arrest was a rare response to allegations of misconduct by a public safety dispatcher in the U.S. The dispatcher was fired, officials said, and faces obstruction of justice and misconduct in office charges.  She was jailed on $40,000 bond.

Comm center officials began an investigation earlier in that month when a citizen complained that police never showed up when he reported a burglary in progress at a neighbor's house.  Police in Mount Pleasant said they were never notified of the incident.  Logging tapes confirmed that the dispatcher fielded the man's two 911 calls, but that no incident was ever entered into computer-aided dispatch (CAD) for dispatch to officers.  Further investigation showed that the same dispatcher failed to enter incidents for 45 other incidents dating back to the beginning of January, 2013.  One incident was medical-related, and the others required a law enforcement response.  No injuries were reported as a result of the dispatchers actions (or inaction I would think), officials said.  The motives for the dispatcher's inaction is unclear, and there seems to be no pattern to the types of calls she mishandled.

Jim Lake, 911 center director, said supervisors are increasing their review of call reports to insure calltakers and dispatchers are properly handling telephone calls and incident dispatches.  Officials advised they were considering criminal charges against two other dispatchers who failed to promptly dispatch officers to critical incidents.

What is the major malfunction with these dispatchers?  How hard is it to enter a call into the CAD and dispatch it to an officer, medic, or fire department?  People like this make dispatchers as a whole look really bad and that makes me angry.  I hope they are given the punishment they deserve, and I hope the other two didn't result in someone getting hurt or losing their lives.

No comments:

Post a Comment