HOUSTON - There’s new scrutiny of the 911 call center by those hoping to avoid future hang-ups.
“I’m thoroughly disgusted,” said Houston City Council member Brenda Stardig. That was her reaction to accusations that a 911 dispatcher may have purposely ditched thousands of calls.
Stardig also chairs the council’s public safety committee.
“As a Houstonian, as a council member, as someone who has used the 911 service,” said Stardig. “I am thoroughly disappointed in anyone that would hang up on a victim,” she added. She says her personal experience with 911 was far different.
“I had a suspect held at gunpoint on my property and they stayed on the line with me until they could get the police there,” said Stardig.
43-year-old former dispatcher Creshanda Williams is charged with interference with an emergency telephone call, which is a misdemeanor. According to court records, she told one caller “Ain’t nobody got time for this,” before hanging up.
“Well, I think the mayor is going to have to look into it and really drill down into what is happening over there,” said Stardig.
KHOU 11 News did some digging and found out that operators in the Houston Emergency Center, or HEC, handle up to 9,000 calls per day. That number that can double during bad weather or major sporting events.
Stardig would like to think that one employee’s alleged disregard during emergencies was isolated.
“I would expect it to be a very isolated incident and that they message has been sent, and this is unacceptable,” said Stardig. Stardig plans to scrutinize call logs and other materials herself to try and determine why someone didn’t notice so many hang ups sooner.