Crime

Broward County's 911 system is working again

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File Photo Miami Herald

Broward County's 911 system is back up after more than an hour of bugs and problems.

Emergency calls to the county's three dispatch centers were automatically sent to a line that isn't answered, so dispatchers returned all calls manually, the 911 service tweeted.

"Calls are being received but are going to an abandoned queue. Calls are being returned. The County is also activating its contingency plan," the 911 service tweeted.

Alphonso Jefferson Jr., an assistant county administrator overseeing regional communications, said the issue was resolved around 1 p.m. Friday after the county "switched to an alternate server" and returned all calls affected.

An after-action report from the 911 vendor to determine the cause of the malfunction is expected to be available next week, the county said in a press release.

"All calls are being returned and the system is operational," Jefferson said.

Broward's communications system has been the subject of heightened criticism following the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Radio difficulties hindered the response from Broward Sheriff's deputies, who resorted to using hand signals on the scene.

The system, contracted by Broward County, not BSO, is undergoing a $59.5 million upgrade expected to finish in 2019.

"We did not have confidence — still do not have confidence — in the system that Broward County put together. ... Our communication dispatch people attempted to call the Broward Sheriff’s Department, attempted to communicate with them, to no avail," Coral Springs Mayor Walter "Skip" Campbell told the state’s Parkland shooting commission Tuesday.

In a press release Friday, the county said that "at no time were there impacts to the radio system or computer-aided dispatch system."

"County staff and the 911 system vendor, West Safety Services, immediately began working on the issue and it was revealed that calls received were going into an 'abandoned' call state," the statement says. "While technicians worked to resolve the issue, call takers made attempts to return the calls from the abandoned call list."

Freelance journalist James LaPorta contributed to this report.
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