The Cerro Gordo County Sheriff says he’s "frustrated" with recent problems with the county’s 9-1-1 system. Sheriff Kevin Pals says the computerized system that was installed earlier this year has been giving dispatchers problems, with one glitch last week resulting in calls not being answered.
Sheriff Pals says about 4:00 AM on November 13th, a resident called 9-1-1 several times to report a burglary of trucks at an area business and his calls went unanswered. Pals says they believe the system was not working early in the morning on November 13th because, for some reason, its settings went back to default mode.
He says in default mode, when one dispatcher is on the phone, the other dispatcher phone was muted, which should not be happening in a dispatch center this size. Pals says they’ve been having other problems with the system and they have been keeping a running log of those issues since summer.
They’ve reported problems with the system to Qwest 43 times and the company hasn’t always responded in a timely manner, Pals says, especially when it comes to an emergency call system. He says those issues include the dispatcher being unable to hear a caller and background noise in the phone line. Pals says it’s up to the Cerro Gordo County E-9-1-1 Board to decide if they should replace the system.
He says if you can’t get through when dialing 9-1-1, call your law enforcement agency via its non-emergency phone numbers or use a cell phone to call 9-1-1. The system cost about $400,000.