A former 911 dispatcher from Houston, TX, who hung up on hundreds of callers eager to report an emergency, was finally sentenced. On Wednesday, a Texas jury found the 44-year-old operator guilty of all charges.
The former operator Crenshanda Williams will get 18 months on probation and 10 days in prison. In their reasoning, the Harris County jurors noted that Houston residents rely on 911 operators to do their jobs and ensure that emergency crews are dispatched in time of need.
Assistant District Attorney Lauren Reeder agreed with the jury, adding that Williams betrayed the community’s trust when she failed to carry out her duties as a public servant. Reeder thinks that it is the state’s duty to hold such people criminally accountable.
Authorities charged the former 911 dispatcher in October 2016, when an internal investigation revealed that Williams had been repeatedly disconnecting emergency callers she didn’t feel like responding to.
Over 800 Emergency Calls Dropped
The investigation showed that she prematurely ended more than 800 emergency calls from October 2015 and March 2016.
- One of the callers was an eye-witness that was trying to get help during a violent robbery at a local store.
- Another caller was a security guard who wanted to report to the police a risky street race in a place where a deadly car crash had happened weeks earlier.
Williams is heard saying after hanging up on one of the caller, “Ain’t nobody got time for this,” in the recordings.
Her lawyer argued that the Houston Emergency Center’s systems caused the calls to be dropped, rather than being rerouted to an available operator when one dispatcher cannot take them. The lawyer also accused the HEC of poorly training its employees, which led to Williams’ errors.
Image Source: HPD