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Part Of City’s 911 System Crashes Twice In Less Than 24 Hours

NYPD Commish Kelly: Problem Was Between Call Takers And Dispatchers

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Part of the city’s 911 emergency response system crashed twice in less than 24 hours this week, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.

On Wednesday afternoon, part of the system unexpectedly went down at the city’s main 911 call center in downtown Brooklyn.

“Something went amiss yesterday,” Kelly said Thursday. “What happened is all calls that came in were received; it was the link between the call takers and the dispatchers that had a problem for 16 minutes.”

As a result of the crash, call takers had to write information on slips of paper which were then rushed to the NYPD and EMS radio rooms where dispatchers figured out which precinct or neighborhood was involved and which units to assign, 1010 WINS reported.

Kelly said the system crashed again for six minutes Thursday morning, but there was no danger to the public.

“The calls are all being received,” he said.

Crews are still looking into the crash.

“Working through the night they thought they had it fixed at 3 a.m. this morning and then obviously this happened again so it has to be thoroughly examined,” Kelly said.

The incidents were a blow to the Bloomberg administration’s $2 billion upgrade of emergency communications, considered long overdue and especially crucial in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, CBS 2’s Dave Carlin reported.

The new, $73 million police and EMS dispatch system was tested for six months. The system was supposed to have launched seven years ago.

Residents were adamant that in a city with so much crash and burn, the last thing that should ever crash is 911.

“We don’t need this kind of thing in the city. We need to get this 911 thing going and we need to make it not happen anymore. A lot of people are sick; a lot of people need help,” said Rosemarie Etienne of Flatbush, Brooklyn.

“We want to live knowing all is well not all is broken,” added Gordon Kindlon of Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

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