Fired 911 call taker defends actions - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Fired 911 call taker defends actions

Posted: Updated:
  • Fired 911 call taker defends actionsMore>>

  • Family of murdered 911 caller sues Dallas, police

    Family of murdered 911 caller sues Dallas, police

    Wednesday, September 19 2012 2:03 PM EDT2012-09-19 18:03:48 GMT
    Family members of a Dallas woman who was murdered after placing a frantic 911 call that officials admit was mishandled are suing the city and its police department in federal court.
    Family members of a Dallas woman who was murdered after placing a frantic 911 call that officials admit was mishandled are suing the city and its police department in federal court.
  • Dallas to make 911 call center changes

    Dallas to make 911 call center changes

    Thursday, September 6 2012 6:17 PM EDT2012-09-06 22:17:58 GMT
    The city of Dallas is making more changes to its 911 call center after Chief David Brown disciplined two employees and opened an internal affairs investigation for supervisors.
    The city of Dallas is making more changes to its 911 call center after Chief David Brown disciplined two employees and opened an internal affairs investigation for supervisors.
  • Dispatchers disciplined for mishandled 911 call

    Dispatchers disciplined for mishandled 911 call

    Wednesday, September 5 2012 7:33 PM EDT2012-09-05 23:33:35 GMT
    The Dallas police chief has come down hard on two police dispatch center workers over a 911 call that ended with the caller dead.
    The Dallas police chief has come down hard on two police dispatch center workers over a 911 call that ended with the caller dead.
  • Dallas looking for 911 call takers

    Dallas looking for 911 call takers

    Wednesday, September 5 2012 7:52 AM EDT2012-09-05 11:52:36 GMT
    After two high-profile scandals involving response times with the city's 911 call operation center, Dallas is advertising for more staff.
    After two high-profile scandals involving response times with the city's 911 call operation center, Dallas is advertising for more staff.
  • Police chief admits 911 failed Dallas woman

    Police chief admits 911 failed Dallas woman

    Wednesday, August 22 2012 6:27 PM EDT2012-08-22 22:27:27 GMT
    Dallas Police Chief David Brown said he wants answers about why a 911 call from a woman who was being murdered was mishandled.
    Dallas Police Chief David Brown said he wants answers about why a 911 call from a woman who was being murdered was mishandled.
  • Murdered woman’s family angry over 911 response

    Murdered woman’s family angry over 911 response

    Tuesday, August 21 2012 5:18 PM EDT2012-08-21 21:18:34 GMT
    Family members say Dallas police should have done more to help a woman who called 911 for help and was found dead two days later.
    Family members say Dallas police should have done more to help a woman who called 911 for help and was found dead two days later.
  • Woman found dead days after calling for help

    Woman found dead days after calling for help

    Monday, August 20 2012 7:40 PM EDT2012-08-20 23:40:34 GMT
    A Dallas woman who called 911 screaming for her husband to stop attacking her was found dead two days later.
    A Dallas woman who called 911 screaming for her husband to stop attacking her was found dead two days later.
DALLAS -

The 911 call taker who was fired for what she didn't do in the case of Deanna Cook is speaking out for the first time.

"It has affected everything in my life. For 18 years being devoted to the city and for something to just be taken away from us," said Angela Graham.

Graham wasn't the person to take Cook's call for help on Aug. 17 while her ex-husband Delvecchio Patrick was allegedly violently attacking her. Instead, she was the person who took a 911 call two days later from relatives for what's called a welfare check.

"She was not there to take the call on Aug. 17. She was the second person to take the call on Aug. 19. It doesn't make any sense to us," said Kerrie Herod, Graham's sister.

Police were initially dispatched to Cook's home. They left after no one answered the door or responded to a callback request.

When her family members called again two days later, Graham told them no officer would be dispatched and that they should check with the hospitals or jail.

"That's what I was taught back in the ‘90s. Now if it changed through any other time frame, I didn't go to any other training," she said.

Cook's mother, sisters and daughters ended up kicking in the door on her home and discovered her body.

Graham's termination letter said she "violated 911 standard operating procedures… (failing to enter a call sheet without unnecessary delay) which resulted in family members entering a crime scene."

Graham, who started working for the city of Dallas's water department many years ago, insists after her initial training in the 911 call center there was never additional detail training.

"In 2001 they did a refresher, like going over the signals, but not over the whole SOP (standard operating procedures) orders," she said.

She plans to appeal her firing.

"We're not filing anything as of yet, only go to the appeal hearing and see if we can resolve this issue and other than that we're going to file for a wrongful termination," said the Rev. Ron Wright with the Justice Seekers.

Graham said she did work as much as 60 hours per week in the 911 call center, but she volunteered for that because her husband had gotten injured on his job and her household needed the extra income.

"It's drastic. We have no income and unemployment is denying me. Also, it's hard for my household," Graham said.

The person who took Cook's original 911 call was suspended for 10 days.

Graham's termination letter listed several other past incidents including not dispatching an officer to a call about a man with a gun and not sending backup on a call for officer assistance.

She would not talk directly about those incidents because that's part of her case, but said she always followed her supervisor's directions and commands.

She has 10 days to appeal.

Powered by WorldNow

KDFW FOX 4
400 N. Griffin Street
Dallas, Texas 75202

Main Station Directory:
(214) 720-4444
News Fax:
(214) 720-3263 or (214) 720-3333

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices