Tags: parkland shooting | mass school shooting | delayed response

Radio Issues, 911 Call Center Delays Impacted Parkland Shooting Response

Image: Radio Issues, 911 Call Center Delays Impacted Parkland Shooting Response
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By    |   Thursday, 12 July 2018 02:00 PM

Delays in radio transmissions, a lack of cohesion between multiple police departments, and issues with a 911 system caused response time problems during a deadly high school shooting in Florida earlier this year.

The Miami Herald reported that myriad issues contributed to several delays on Feb. 14, the day a gunman walked into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida and killed 14 children and three adults.

The radio system was unable to handle the high amount of transmission requests and went into "throttling" delays for five hours the day of the shooting. And when students and staff members called 911 from their cell phones to report the active shooter, their calls were first routed to a local 911 call center in Coral Springs, Florida — not the Broward County Sheriff's Department because the city opted out of joining a regional call center agreement with neighboring departments.

The delay in properly routing the calls caused slowed down law enforcement's response time to the school.

"Every cell call, it went to Coral Springs. … There was a call transfer situation in place, and I do believe as we flesh this out, it is going to show that the Broward County Sheriff's Office had a void of information because they were not getting the firsthand calls that were being made from Stoneman Douglas," said Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, who is leading a state investigation of the shooting.

"So you had people who were conveying firsthand information to the entity that wasn't the first responder for law enforcement. So what was happening was that Coral Springs would have been required to transfer the callers from the Coral Springs communications center to the regional communications center so the regional communications center could then convey it to the deputies. Was that a factor in this? Yeah, absolutely it's a factor."

Coral Springs and Plantation are the two cities within Broward County that are not part of the county's Regional Communications System.

According to the Herald, Coral Springs opted out of the system in 2014 to preserve its "hometown feel."

The alleged gunman was taken into custody a short time after the shooting occurred and was charged with 17 counts of murder and 17 counts of attempted murder.

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Delays in radio transmissions, a lack of cohesion between multiple police departments, and issues with a 911 system caused response time problems during a deadly high school shooting in Florida earlier this year.
parkland shooting, mass school shooting, delayed response
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2018-00-12
Thursday, 12 July 2018 02:00 PM
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