Every once in a while there are stories in the media that simply make you baffled. And this is one of them. Those who are in helping professions are expected to be above reproach and those who hold themselves to a higher standard. However, a recent court hearing regarding an emergency telephone operator revealed that a woman hung up on thousands of people who called into 911.
The Daily Wire reported,
“Crenshanda Williams, a former 911 operator from Houston, Texas, was found guilty of interfering with emergency calls this week. According to the Houston Chronicle, she hung up on “thousands” of calls that included m****r and violent robbery. Williams’ actions were revealed in monthly audits that found a high number of calls shorter than 20 seconds.
KTRK reports that in 2016, a 911 caller reported two vehicles racing down a highway. Williams hung up within seconds. Court documents revealed that Williams cut the caller off, then said, “Ain’t nobody got time for this. For real.” Assistant District Attorney Lauren Reeder said in a statement, “The citizens of Harris County rely on 911 operators to dispatch help in their time of need. When a public servant betrays the community’s trust and breaks the law, we have a responsibility to hold them criminally accountable.”
The manager of the Houston Emergency Center, Joe Laud, responded to Williams’ behavior by saying, “We feel that her actions do not represent all the call takers in this facility or call takers in general. They have a very specific interest in doing a great job in providing emergency response to people.” A jury found the 44-year-old guilty and she was sentenced to 10 days in jail and 18 months probation.”
Those who aren’t capable of fulfilling the obligations of their job should be fired. Whether they are in emergency services or not. This type of story is completely disgusting and unacceptable. This should never be tolerated and 10 days in jail and 18 months on probation is nothing. What she did could have led to peoples d***h or injury for the rest of their lives.
The Washington Post reported,
“It took Hua Li two minutes and three tries to get help from Houston 911 as a convenience store owner lay bleeding to d***h on the floor of his store after being shot. Li was about to walk into a Raceway in Houston to buy a lottery ticket in May 2016 but was stopped by another person’s warning: Somebody was robbing the store.
Li caught a glimpse of a man holding a g*n, court documents say. Then he heard a half a dozen gunshots. He hopped into his car and sped away, and as he put distance between himself and the crime, he pulled out his phone to dial 911. The phone line picked up, then immediately disconnected.
Li tried again. Thirty seconds later, his call went through to Crenshanda Williams. “Houston 9-1-1-, do you need medical, police or fire?” she asked. “This is a robbery,” Li blurted out. Li heard a sigh, then nothing. The call had been disconnected again.
On Wednesday, Williams was sentenced to 10 days in jail and 18 months on probation after she was convicted of hanging up on thousands of calls during the 18 months that she worked as a 911 dispatcher for the city of Houston, according to the Houston Chronicle. When investigators asked why she had hung up on so many people, she told them that sometimes she just didn’t feel like talking.
Franklin Bynum, Williams’s attorney, told the Houston Chronicle that the case had unearthed systemic problems at the city’s emergency center, which had consolidated calls for police, the fire department and paramedics 15 years ago. He said that one of the problems was that the system drops calls instead of rerouting them if dispatchers aren’t ready for them and that his client was a scapegoat for a broken system.
“She was going through a hard time in her life, and she was a poor-performing worker at the Houston Emergency Center,” he said. “But punishing her doesn’t do anything to fix the problems that still exist at the emergency center.” Williams’s supervisor was put on internal probation for a year, the Chronicle reported, but a jury found Williams criminally responsible for ignoring thousands of calls.
Williams had started working as a dispatcher in July 2014 and had taken thousands of calls, court documents say. But an audit a year and a half after she was hired found that an abnormally large number of her calls had lasted 20 seconds or less, and the city began an investigation.”
What is most scary about this situation is that if one person is caught doing it in all likelihood there are others who have done similar things but have gotten away with it. Yet, nobody will know about it until they are caught and until something terrible has happened. There needs to be more accountability within this profession and local law enforcement needs to hold them responsible.
Share if you agree she should be in jail for much much longer