Justice Served

County fires 9-11 dispatcher who hung up on Buffalo supermarket employee who called during mass shooting

A 9-11 dispatcher accused of hanging up on a caller who was inside a Buffalo supermarket during a white supremacist’s deadly shooting rampage has been fired according to Erie County officials, WIVB reports.

The dispatcher had initially been placed on paid leave, but the county insisted on her being fired. Police say the dispatcher police asked why the caller, a Tops supermarket employee, was whispering, before hanging up on her. The employee was reportedly whispering because the gunman was inside the store with her.

“It is the priority of Erie County, the county executive and the honorable body of the Legislature to make sure that everybody that has a responsibility in terms of public safety is working for the county is doing that to their utmost ability and it is obvious that that call was not handled in a professional way,” said Legislator April Baskin of Erie County.

Baskin and Legislator Howard Johnson, also expressed concerns about an incident last week during a birthday party for a surviving victim of the Tops shooting when 9-11 call from the party for a woman who went into cardiac arrest was cut off by a dispatcher who has since been fired.

“I have asked and Legislator Johnson have asked for an investigation not just into that particular call taker and the ongoings of that call, but the entire department and identifying how many disconnections are happening,” Baskin said.

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