A 911 dispatcher was found guilty of interference with emergency telephone calls after prosecutors proved that she had hung up on “thousands” of individuals who had made calls to the emergency dispatch center.
44-year-old Crenshanda Williams was sentenced to 10 days in jail, probation, and 18-months of community service according to KTRK. She will also be required to write a letter of apology and attend a “decision making class.”
Court documents revealed that Williams had a record of “short calls,” lasting no more than twenty seconds. The calls came in between October 2015 through March 2016.
In one instance, Williams fielded a call from a concerned citizen named Jim Moten. Moten was reporting that two vehicles were speeding through an area where, just weeks prior, other speeding motorists were killed. Moten claims that, before his call was dropped, Williams told him,
“Ain’t nobody got time for this. For real.”
In another call, Williams hung up on someone who was reporting a violent robbery.
In a public statement, Assistant District Attorney Lauren Reeder said,
“When a public servant betrays the community’s trust and breaks the law, we have a responsibility to hold them criminally accountable.”
Williams’ defense attorney told the court that she had dropped the calls because she had been “going through a hard time in her life,” and that, “punishing her doesn’t do anything to fix the problems that still exist at the emergency center.”
It sounds like one of the biggest problems that existed at the Houston emergency center was solved when Williams was fired from her job.
Imagine if you were in the Houston area between October of 2015 and March of 2016 when a serious, life-threatening situation landed in your lap.
Imagine if a loved one that you were with was having a heart attack or if you heard someone breaking into your home in the middle of the night. Now imagine that you dialed 911, began explaining the situation, and then heard somebody tell you, “Ain’t nobody got time for that,” before they hung up on you.
How angry, frustrated, and scared would you be, knowing that the 911 dispatch center had just decided that your emergency was not worth their time?
Social media seemed outraged after learning of Williams’ sentence, with many posters demanding that her punishment be increased to fit the crime.
Several have suggested that she should spend a day in prison for every call that she dropped. After all, what’s to stop the next 911 dispatcher, “who is going through a hard time in their life,” from doing the same thing, knowing that the punishment is a slap on the wrist?
What do you think about the punishment? Was it fair, too harsh, or too lenient?