Houston has revised its 911 dispatching practices after a driver was told she could not call for help while in a moving vehicle. The Houston Chronicle recounts the tale of Pamela Gray, who was driving away from pursuers when she called 911 on her cell phone and asked that a police officer be sent to help her. The call-taker replied that Gray would have to pull over and call back – even though it could mean letting her pursuers catch up to her.
Gray came through the experience unharmed, but she complained to a television station. A City Council member demanded answers from the Houston Emergency Center, which responded by revising some of its operating procedures. The 911 dispatcher believed that policy policy barred sending officers to moving complainants, but a police official said that was not correct. Call-takers will receive more training and guidance in handling such calls, said a spokesman for the agency. “We want to use more common sense in these kinds of incidents,” he said.