Dallas emergency workers say they’re facing a new menace: their computers, says the Dallas Morning News. Since going online in August, a new computer-assisted dispatch system has faced a slew of problems. Many believe public safety is at risk because of problems related to the installation of a sophisticated new emergency dispatch system. Firefighters have been sent to wrong addresses or dispatched to emergency scenes when other firefighters are closer. Emergency workers have been inadvertently notified that they don’t have to go to an emergency call when help is needed. Police officers on patrol have received incorrect information on people’s criminal records or outstanding arrest warrants. Correct information for police about whether a suspect is a wanted criminal sometimes arrives long after a person who was being questioned has been allowed to leave a scene.
“If someone hasn’t died yet, then they will,” said Jim Crump, a 24-year Dallas Fire-Rescue veteran. “It’s a roulette wheel spinning.  The people of Dallas have a right to know that their system is broke.” There are no known incidents of deaths or serious injuries related to the dispatch problems. But the nearly $6 million system that went online in August appears to be at the center of numerous difficulties. Crump, the son of a retired Dallas firefighter and brother of a Dallas police officer, chose to talk publicly about the problems because of serious public safety concerns.