Segarra investigates Hartford dispatch center - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Segarra investigates Hartford dispatch center


A series of setbacks in Hartford at the city's emergency dispatch center is forcing the mayor's office to take a closer look at its operations and now has launched an investigation into the department.

The police chief and head of internal affairs could be seen heading into City Hall Wednesday.

"Mayor (Pedro) Segarra has launched an investigation and, once completed, will determine the appropriate course of action," said the mayor's office in a statement Wednesday. "He expects to conclude by week's end."

The mayor's investigation come after an unidentified dispatcher is accused of making a racist slur in July and residents complained about treatment by dispatchers after a shooting.

"That's going to be 198 Fairfield Ave.," the unidentified dispatcher said on the tape. "Same code again. 71. Arguing with (expletive) neighbors over a trash can."

Following a hearing on Aug. 1, the dispatcher's boss ruled his comments were racial and violated the city's "workplace violence policy" as well as conduct unbecoming of an emergency telecommunications dispatcher.

The city employee, who had never been in trouble before, took mandatory five-day unpaid suspension and had to attend diversity training upon his return.

Members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People wanted the dispatcher fired from the department.

Neighbors on Linnmoore Street were also upset with city dispatchers after calling 911 on Aug. 12 to report shots being fired and a car speeding off shortly after. A man's body was found in the yard of a home in the 300 block of Linnmoore Street the next morning.

In the 911 recordings, listeners can tell neighbors were upset, frustrated and believing no one was listening to them.

In the recordings obtained by Eyewitness News, the dispatcher is heard sending the officers to the wrong address.

Eyewitness News asked city residents their thoughts about this new investigation.

"If there's a problem, it needs to be sorted out properly," said Doug Wimbish of Hartford.

His son agreed.

"If you live there in the city and make a call to get help, you should be able to get that help," said Evan Wimbish of Hartford.

The head of the dispatch center had no comment for Eyewitness News Wednesday, neither did the unions. Segarra is expected to release a statement by the end of week.

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