DALLAS COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – It was an act that was allegedly intended to make a point. Now a North Texas city councilwoman is in hot water with police who say she abused the 911 emergency system.
The incident happened in Balch Springs, just southwest of Dallas, and involves councilwoman Wanda Adams.
Despite what police claim, Adams is defending her actions. She told CBS 11 News she wanted to get the attention of officers at the police department. Her mission was successful, but it wasn’t the kind of attention she had hoped for.
Everything started with a call and recording made in the dispatch center earlier this week.
On the recorded call you hear someone say “hello” and then there’s static.
There is no response on the caller’s end and it appears to be an open line to 911. After a few seconds the phone hangs up.
Police records show the person who made the call was councilwoman Adams.
When asked why she made the emergency call Adams said, “My reasoning for using the 911 system was to get someone over there as soon as possible to review the video tape I had just seen.”
Adams is referring to video evidence showing two suspects robbing a Dollar General Store on Shepherd Lane.
The councilwoman had been summoned by the store’s manager to address complaints of slow police response to a string of robberies at the location. She too asked police for help with the matter, but claims they were not speedy enough.
Given her other efforts, she says she then decided to place an emergency call. “I wanted them [store management] to see that I am pro-active, because they were feeling like they were not getting the satisfaction.”
The problem is Adams didn’t communicate with the dispatchers during the emergency call. That move now has her in poor favor with police.
Balch Springs Police Deputy Chief Jonathan Haber said, “We’re looking at pursuing charges for silent or abuse of 911.”
Police say on the day of the incident the dispatch center handled more than 100 emergency calls. At the time of the councilwoman’s call they were also getting calls about a domestic violence incident in progress.
“Our resources are meant to protect our community,” explained Deputy Chief Haber. “We can’t protect our community if we are out chasing bogus calls.”
The charge the councilwoman could now face is considered a misdemeanor, and police say she won’t be given special treatment just because she is an elected official.
Councilwoman Adams on the other hand says she is disappointed by the way her actions are being interpreted. “This should have never escalated to this level,” she said.
Police say they haven’t yet charged the councilwoman because they’re still working on the case.
A footnote – there have been no arrests made for those Dollar General Store robberies.
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