Victim's family disappointed with delayed 911 changes

Numbers show staffing issue inside Dallas 911

There were a lot of promises after the death of Deanna Cook 5 years ago.

She was murdered while on the phone with a 911 operator.

The issues at that time were understaffing, outdated equipment and poor management of the 911 center.

Then Police Chief David Brown and city leaders promised major upgrades and more operators.

For a little while it was better, but city leaders admit the 911 call center is as big a mess now as it was then.

“That is disappointing that the 911 center is still understaffed and the equipment is outdated 5 years later in 2017,” said Karletha Gundy, Cook’s sister.

WFAA was the first to report weeks ago that there were major problems with T-Mobile and duplicate calls into the 911 center causing people to be placed on hold for extended periods of time.

WFAA has learned that on March 11 there were 5,300 calls recorded into the 911 center.

Many of those were duplicate calls caused by the T-Mobile glitch.

Compare that to the number of actual calls recorded on July 7 when five officers were shot and killed in downtown Dallas.

That night there were fewer than 3,000.

“There are still people dying. There are still victims and that is sad,” said Gundy.

On March 11, 6-month-old Brandon Alex died while his baby sitter was on hold with 911.

Not only was there a computer glitch that night but the 911 call center was also severely understaffed.

DPD refuses to release the numbers but WFAA has learned there are less than 60 call takers.

The recommended number for a city the size of Dallas is 125-155.

So, not only is DPD having to pay officers overtime to answer calls to help out, now many 911 operators are mandated to work 16 hour shifts.

Some have told WFAA they can’t keep up with that pace.

Copyright 2016 WFAA


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