Commission meeting heats up over 911 system issues in Broward County – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL. (WSVN) – There are serious concerns about the 911 system in a South Florida county, but that’s not what a sheriff wanted to hear.

A tense exchange between Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony and Commissioner Mark Bogen took place Tuesday afternoon over how to fix the regional communications center, also known as 911.

“Mr. Commissioner, you asked me 15 questions. Do you want me to start answering it now? Tony said.

“No, you’re gonna wait until I’m done, and then you’re gonna be respectful,” Bogen replied.

“I will be respectful when you are respectful. You’re also going to be respectful,” Tony said.

The county said it was understaffed, underpaid and overworked. They agreed on that but not on what to do now.

“How many doors have you kicked down?” Tony told Bogen. “How many lives have you saved? How many times have you had to pull someone out of a burning building or set your [expletive] on the line when someone gets shot? »

When 911 doesn’t work, tragedy can strike. For a Deerfield Beach family, it was when baby Keishawn stopped breathing during a nap. They called 911. Unfortunately, the baby did not survive.

“All it does is ring, ring, ring. I had about five people calling the police at once,” said Keishawn’s father, also named Keishawn.

In Hollywood, Judith Garwood’s house burned down when she couldn’t get help on the phone.

“Oh my God, what’s going on here?” 911 not answering? Garwood said.

The sheriff said they needed to hire more dispatchers and pay them more. He wants $11 million for pay raises, $314,000 for recruiting and $17 million more to bring them together under one roof.

Bogen said more money was a mistake.

“I think I can solve your problem,” Bogen told Tony. “I have an ego. I can solve your problem in six months.

“Well, people can vote for you and serve as sheriff, and then you can address the issue,” Tony said.

For the family who lost a baby and the woman who lost her home, it is too late.

Tony said that while they were trying to fix the problem, he was asking not to judge the whole system on just a few calls.

“A call where it’s not handled to the standards we’d like, maybe it’s not fast enough, maybe there are dropped calls, and we have a rehearsal to get through those calls, does not diminish the fact that we answer 2.6 million calls for service,” Tony said.

The long term answer? It might take a while before they find out.

As for the short term, it looks like the next commission meeting will provide just under $5 million to give raises in the coming months.

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