Wednesday 29 January 2020

Emergency operator jailed for hanging up on 'thousands' of 911 calls

'Aint nobody got time for this. For real,' she told one caller

Williams was sentenced to jail for dropping emergency calls Photo: Houston Police Department
Williams was sentenced to jail for dropping emergency calls Photo: Houston Police Department

Clark Mindock

A 911 operator in Texas has been sentenced to jail time followed by probation for hanging up on emergency callers “thousands” of times.

Crenshanda Williams, 44, was sentenced to 10 days in jail and 18 months probation after an investigation into an unusual number of “short calls” for the former emergency operator, meaning they lasted no longer than 20 seconds, according to local media reports. She had worked for the Harris County emergency dispatch team, which services Houston.

Williams systematically hung up on the calls, prosecutors told the jury that found her guilty of interference with emergency phone calls, including instances in which vehicles were proceeding at dangerous speeds on a highway, and one where someone was attempting to report a violent burglary.

Court documents show, for instance, that Williams took a call in 2016 from Jim Moten, who was calling to report vehicles travelling at high rates of speed on a highway where people had recently died. Before Mr Moten could finish explaining the situation, Williams cut him off and hung up.

“Ain’t nobody got time for this. For real,” Williams said, according to court documents.

Mr Moten, at the time, thought the call had dropped by some other means.

“The citizens of Harris County rely on 911 operators to dispatch help in their time of need,” she said. “When a public servant betrays the community’s trust and breaks the law, we have a responsibility to hold them criminally accountable.”

The charging documents stated that the short calls occurred between October 2015 and March 2016.

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