Former 911 Operator Found Guilty Of Hanging Up On Thousands Of Callers

Ex-911 operator operator jailed US emergency services

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The former Houston Emergency Center worker hung up even though people had been killed speeding on the same stretch of Interstate 45 near Houston just weeks earlier.

The Harris County District Attorney's Office says jurors found 44-year-old Crenshanda Williams guilty of interference with emergency telephone calls, a misdemeanor.

Williams had worked at the Houston Emergency Center for about 18 months, ending in 2016.

Williams reportedly had an unusual number of "short calls", which were no longer than 20 seconds.

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In one instance, Williams allegedly hung up on a man who called to report a robbery in progress. Turns out Williams' had thousands of what they call "short calls'".

CBS News reported that the ex-dispatcher told investigators that she hung up because she didn't want to talk to anyone when they called in.

"The citizens of Harris County rely on 911 operators to dispatch help in their time of need", said Lauren Reeder, a Harris County prosecutor, according to the Houston Chronicle.

The former Houston emergency operator has been sentenced to 10 days in prison, followed by an 18-month probation period for refusing to take thousands of calls. "When a public servant betrays the community's trust and breaks the law, we have a responsibility to hold them criminally accountable".

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Li reportedly called again and got a different operator.

In another case, someone attempted to report a robbery. A man called after an armed robber entered a convenience store where he was buying lottery tickets. Williams was later determined to be the 911 operator and had terminated the call after a few seconds, police said.

Investigators said she once hung up on a man whose wife collapsed and lost consciousness. He also criticized the statute prosecutors used to charge Williams, and said he expected it to be overturned on appeal. She said "OK, : and she hangs up on me'".

Williams' misdeeds were uncovered in Augusts 2016 after a Houston Emergency Center supervisor performed an audit on all calls being handled by the facility. He said Williams was "going through a hard time in her life", according to the Chronicle.

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