City Council to Hold Hearing on NYC 911 System Failures

Without computers, operators have had to write notes on paper, then hand those notes to runners, who took them to dispatchers

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    Two New York City Council committees are holding a hearing on glitches to the city's emergency 911 system that at times has forced phone operators to resort to pen and paper.

    Authorities say no calls coming into the system have been affected in a series of glitches over the last month, but operators sometimes have had to send runners with hand-written messages to dispatchers who then radio emergency responders.

    The city is undergoing a $2 billion modernization of its 911 system, including using new technology and building a new backup call center. But the new dispatch computer system went down four times in May, including three times during its first week in operation. The outages lasted a few minutes to about an hour.

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    The council committees on public safety and on fire and criminal justice services plan to meet Monday afternoon.

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