NEW YORK (AP) — The city's overhauled 911 system is beset by delays and errors that could leave callers without help for crucial seconds in an emergency, while the fire and police departments aren't collaborating on how to handle a surge in calls from a massive crisis such as a terrorist attack, a report said.The data is phonied up, the response times are phonied up - but the deputy mayor says fatalities are down 20%, so everything's good.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office released an edited version of a consultants' report on Friday. His administration is fighting legal efforts to force it to release earlier versions. When the New York Post first wrote about the report last month, it described a 216-page document, but the version released Friday had 133 pages.
Cas Holloway, the deputy mayor for operations, said the city would immediately adopt two of the report's 14 recommendations and would soon adopt others. Bloomberg will create a working group to consider the report's suggestions and will issue an executive order establishing an ongoing process to improve the system, Holloway said.
The report, initially prepared by outside consultants hired by the city, found that call operators waste time on duplicative questions and employ inconsistent questioning procedures. The system, it found, sends some responders to the wrong address and slows fire and medical dispatchers' efforts to give instructions to callers.
The report follows a yearslong overhaul of the system that included a new $680 million call center that combined the operations of police, fire and medical dispatchers. City officials have said the update improved response times, eliminated inefficiencies and reduced confusion for callers, but Friday's report seemed to call some of that into question.
"Statistical information provided to City Hall management to demonstrate the success of the (Unified Call Taking) project contained errors and does not provide a clear picture of the effectiveness of UCT related business processes," the report said. Holloway said that comment referred largely to the city's practice of not tracking how long it takes from the moment an emergency call is placed until the moment responders are dispatched.
But do you trust them when they say fatalities are down?
They have phonied up the budget, phonied up the crime stats, phonied up the test scores and graduation rates - why should we believe anything - seriously, anything - a city official who works for Michael Bloomberg says?
In any case, given how bad this "edited" report is, the full report must be a doozy.
Hey Bloomberg - you couldn't wait to release the Teacher Data Reports with the 87% margins of error.
Release the damned 911 report - all of it.