Officials at the Hamilton County Emergency Communications District have concluded an internal investigation into employees use of the Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) CHAT messaging feature.
CHAT is an internal operational tool of CAD that provides for the rapid dissemination of time critical event information through instant messaging between on-duty telecommunicators.
The investigation was initiated on Oct. 5, 2011 when management was made aware that some employees were inappropriately using this feature. The investigation covered a six-month time period and over 8,700 pages of messages.
The investigation found that 11 employees conducted inappropriate repetitive misuse of this feature in violation of District policies. Administrative hearings were held with employees resulting in disciplinary actions ranging from termination to three days suspension without pay.
The Center’s executive director John Stuermer, said “Further details into the investigation and disciplinary actions will be made available after the employee’s right of appeal process is finalized. This investigation was focused on the conduct of our employees. We found no evidence that the District’s ability to provide timely emergency service to citizens or first responders was impaired or jeopardized. While maintaining a high level of service is a commitment of the District, as public servants we also believe in and hold our employees to a high standard of conduct.”
In 2011 the unified Emergency Communications Center received over 203,500 emergency E9-1-1 calls, with only 1% being answered after two to three rings and less than 0.4% abandoned after two to three rings.
The Hamilton County 9-1-1 Emergency Communications District employs more than 130 telecommunicators who answer an approximate average of 2,000 to 2,500 calls for service each day from residents and visitors in Hamilton County. Telecommunicators also dispatch responders for all public safety response disciplines – law enforcement, fire and EMS – across 26 various agencies.