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Posted on 7/2/2013
At a press conference this morning, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio called on the City’s Department of Investigation to immediately probe reports of “lost calls” in the new 911 computer system that could potentially delay response times and put New Yorkers at risk. Internal emails unearthed today indicate an estimated 1/4 to 1/3 of incidents transmitted to the new ICAD computer system in the days after its launch were designated as so-called “lost calls.”
In a letter to the Department of Investigation sent today, de Blasio urged the agency to conduct an immediate and independent investigation. Despite mounting evidence, the Bloomberg Administration has repeatedly denied any technical problems with the 911 system.
“CityTime cost us millions, now 911 could be costing lives,” Public Advocate Bill de Blasio said. “We need to get to the bottom of these delays immediately. City Hall, NYPD and the FDNY have denied problems every step of the way, and we cannot expect their own investigations to unearth the truth. We need an independent investigation to determine what has gone wrong and whether our officials are doing enough to respond.”
Read de Blasio’s letter to the Department of Investigation:
July 2, 2013
Rose Gill Hearn
New York City Department of Investigation
80 Maiden Lane
New York, NY 10038
Dear Commissioner Hearn,
The City’s 911 dispatch system is charged with serving thousands of New Yorkers each day during their times of greatest need. The City must do everything in its power to ensure that this vital system operates properly so our police officers, firefighters and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) workers can do their jobs effectively.
However, since the installation of a new computer-aided system in late May of this year, repeated reports of busy lines and lost calls have called into question the reliability of this critical lifeline. When the 911 system cannot receive and process calls in a timely fashion, the health and safety of the entire population are put at risk. Yet, despite these ongoing reports, the Mayor, the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) and the New York Police Department (NYPD) have not been forthcoming about system failures.
This morning, the Daily News produced internal FDNY emails confirming knowledge of serious problems with the ICAD system. The public has the right to know if this $88 million system can truly be relied upon in case of an emergency, and if City officials have been truthful in their defense of the system and status quo.
I therefore request that the Department of Investigation undertake an immediate investigation into the ICAD system, including reports and internal knowledge of “lost calls,” as well as the procurement process that resulted in the selection of Intergraph Corp.
Bill de Blasio
Public Advocate for the City of New York
Cc: Robert A. Gigante
Inspector General, Department of Investigation
Hon. Michael R. Bloomberg
Mayor of the City of New York
Hon. Raymond Kelly
Commissioner, New York Police Department
Hon. Salvatore Cassano
Commissioner, Fire Department of the City of New York