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Civil Rights Group Files Open Records Request On 911 Call Center

By Joe Gomez, 1080 KRLD | CBSDFW.COM

DALLAS (CBSDFW) – After the Dallas Police Department took disciplinary action against two operators who mishandled phone calls involving a woman that died as she waited on the line for help, one civil rights organization wants a private investigation into the Dallas 9-1-1 call center.

The group Justice Seekers Texas wants the call center to open its books so the group can find out if there were any emergency calls mishandled in a similar way in the past.

“We did file an open records request, to get a history of all the calls that have taken place where there were some issues with the 9-11 center,” says Rev. Ronald Wright, the Executive Director of the Justice Seekers.

In July there was more controversy surrounding the Dallas 9-1-1 call center after a family in Oak Cliff community in Dallas claimed they couldn’t get through to an operator as their home burned down to the ground.

In the most recent case involving Deanna Cook, who was reportedly being assaulted while she was waiting on the line for an operator, the Dallas Police Department fired the  operator who took Cook’s call and suspended another. The department also said it would issue a review of the center.

But for Rev. Wright that doesn’t go far enough, “The saviors of this city are at that 9-1-1 call center.  And if we have some things that are not right there the lives that are going to be lost [will be] ridiculous.”

PLAY: KRLD’s Joe Gomez reports

Police also created a new classification for call takers and dispatchers to use when relaying reports to officers in the field. The new class is for calls involving serious bodily injury or death and will be listed as highest priority.

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