Dallas upheld firing of 911 operator - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Dallas upheld firing of 911 operator

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DALLAS -

A Dallas civil-service panel upheld the firing of a 911 call operator who Dallas police say mishandled a call in the case of a murdered woman.

It has been six months since the victim, Deanna Cook, called 911 while she was being attacked in her home. Her body was not found until two days later after a second 911 call from her family.

Angela Graham handled that second call and says she was wrongfully terminated.

The civil service board decided Graham had violated city code. This is just one of several hearings she has undergone.

Graham was fired for failing to send a police officer as requested to the home of 32-year-old Deanna Cook.

Cook's mother called 911 on August 19, worried about her adult daughter's welfare.

Cook was later found dead in the bathtub.

Graham testified her training required her to ask callers if they've notified hospitals and jails, that she wouldn't send an officer to the address until they did that first.

The call from Dallas 911 went like this:

911 Operator: "Ok, have you called all of the jails and hospitals?"

Caller: "No, I have not, I am at her house."

911 Operator: "Ok, let me give you the number to the jails and hospitals, once you call Parkland and Lew Sterrett. (unintelligible). Call me back."

Caller: "Ma'am can you just send the police over here?"

911 Operator: "No Ma'am, no Ma'am you have to do this first. We'll do that after you call the location."

Graham had testified that her training required her to ask callers if they had first contacted hospitals and jails first before she would send an officer to that address and she would not send an officer to that home until that happened.

"It was a discretion call, I didn't hear any distress, I did not hear anything of urgent," said Graham.

Officers later testified that they felt in their opinion that she should have called them for a welfare check. The city of Dallas also determined that Graham finally put in the call on the call sheet only after Deanna Cook's body was discovered.

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