Investigation underway after claim of St. Louis 911 line being busy

"I suspect those calls did not result in a busy signal," says St. Louis Public Safety Director Judge Jimmy Edwards.

Kevin Killeen
May 29, 2020 - 11:13 am

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - The man in charge of the 911 emergency phone system for St Louis is launching an investigation after a St. Louis alderwoman claimed she tried to call 911 four times over Memorial Day weekend, but "the line was busy."

Public Safety Director Judge Jimmy Edwards is asking his tech people about that.

"Well they are telling me that it's an impossibility, however, I do want to get a thorough report with respect to this matter," Edwards says. "In addition to an internal affairs report based upon what the candidate said."

KMOX asked Alderwoman Cara Spencer to clarify, if she did get a busy signal? She says no. It was a recording, telling her to wait on the line because all operators were busy.

She says she had to wait "a minute or less" to get some help, which she says is still too long in an emergency.

"In in fact our 911 system failed, then we will have to address it," Edwards says. "But I suspect those calls did not result in a busy signal." 

Here's what Spencer, who’s running for mayor of St. Louis, told KMOX earlier this week

"This is breaking down the trust between the community and the police department," Spencer says. "You are calling 911 in a time of an emergency and so it is imperative that we be able to take those calls."

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