DALLAS - Dallas city council members are frustrated about the two times they've requested a briefing about the 911 call center problems and the two times they've been denied.
A lot of people want to know if they need 911 in Dallas, will their call be answered. It's a question city council members wanted the city manager to address last week. Instead, it was taken off of Monday’s agenda.
It's not just citizens who can't get answers about unanswered 911 calls. Even Dallas City Councilman Adam Medrano, the chair of the city's public safety committee, can't get the city manager to hold a public briefing on the issues.
"As chair, I was really surprised it was taken off without my knowledge,” he said. “I believe it was our city manager that did that. It's not something that's sitting well with me right now. It's a serious issue a lot of folks want to talk about and know what's going on. I think that's a disservice to the city of Dallas."
During various times since October, the city says hundreds of people have had to wait on hold for several minutes. And in some cases, people haven't even been able to get through to a hold message.
Two families say their loved ones died while they could not get through to a 911 call taker. One of those deaths was a 6-month-old baby.
Dallas City Councilwoman Sandy Greyson says when the chair of a committee wants a briefing on an issue, he or she is supposed to get one.
"We should have addressed it sooner,” she said. “It is the chair's prerogative to decide what is on his agenda.”
Greyson said she has a lot of questions about the 911 call center crisis that she wants answers now.
"I mean, why did we wait four months and then have someone potentially pass away potentially because of the issue and wait that long before we called T-Mobile in and really got to the bottom of what the problem was,” Greyson said.
Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax has scheduled a briefing in three weeks on April 19.
In hopes of increasing staffing levels, the city is planning to hold a job fair for 911 call takers this weekend. The fair will be on March 31 and April 1 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.