A former 911 operator in Texas who repeatedly hung up on people calling for emergency services has been sentenced to 10 days in jail and 18 months of probation.
Crenshanda Williams, 44, was found guilty of interference with emergency telephone calls, BBC reports. She is said to have hung up on thousands of emergency calls in Houston for more than a year, according to court documents.
“Citizens rely on 911 operators to dispatch help in their time of need,” Assistant District Attorney Lauren Reeder said in a statement. “When a public servant betrays the community's trust and breaks the law, we have a responsibility to hold them criminally accountable.”
Williams told investigators she often hung up because she didn't want to talk to anyone at those times. Records show that calls she terminated included reports of robberies, speeding vehicles and murders.
Her attorney told ABC 13 that his client routinely hit ‘not ready’ on her computer as calls came into the Houston Emergency Center. He says that Williams didn’t realize that she was disconnecting the calls and assumed it went to another operator who was ready to take that call.
“She might have been bad at her job, but she is not a criminal,” Williams said, according to the local station.
Williams was also ordered to attend a decision-making class and write a letter of apology.