HOUSTON — A former 911 operator in Texas was convicted of hanging up on thousands of callers because she wasn’t in the mood to talk.
Harris County prosecutors say Crenshanda Williams, 44, had worked as a 911 operator in Houston for just a year-and-a-half, ending in 2016 after supervisors detected that she has an unusually high number of short calls lasting less than 20 seconds.
Among the calls Williams hung up on included a report of a violent robbery, and another complaining about drag racers in an area where people had been killed speeding just weeks earlier, the Houston Chronicle reported.
In one exchange, Williams told the caller: “Ain’t nobody got time for this. For real.”
When questioned about the high number of hangups, Williams told her supervisors that she just didn’t want to talk to people at those times.
As punishment, Williams will serve 10 days in jail and 18 months on probation.
Her lawyer, Franklin Bynum, said his client’s actions also pointed to a number of “systemic” problems at Houston’s 911 center, such as the fact that calls coming in to busy operators get dropped rather than rerouted to another operator.
“She was going through a hard time in her life, and she was a poor performing worker at the Houston Emergency Center,” he told the Chronicle. “But punishing her doesn’t do anything to fix the problems that still exist at the emergency center.”