Mayor Downplays Report That Criticizes 911 Call System
The city spent more than $2 billion overhauling and creating a new 911 system, and while unions and reporters scrambled to read a report released by City Hall last week that critiques that process, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has opted to ignore it. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.
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City Hall reluctantly released on Friday a consultant's report that is critical of the city's integrated 911 system. The overbudget, delayed project consolidated emergency dispatch services for Emergency Medical Services, the city fire department and the New York City Police Department.
The report says the system is bogged down by a lack of coordination between the FDNY and the NYPD. The report cost the city $500,000 and stirred up controversy, but it didn't grab Mayor Michael Bloomberg's attention.
"I didn't even bother to read it," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Tuesday.
The mayor said the entire controversy surrounding the report can be trumped up to battling badges.
"Keep in mind, this is all stirred up by one union who isn't happy because another union is taking their business. So let's put it in perspective," said Bloomberg.
The administration had previously refused to release a draft version of the report, and Friday's release was only prompted by litigation by the city's fire unions. Those unions now claim the report was heavily edited.
Representatives from the fire union said the original draft was more than 200 pages, whereas the final version was 133, and they vowed to get any earlier versions of the report.
In response to the mayor's comments on Tuesday, the head of the city's firefighters union, Steve Cassidy, said in a statement: “The 911 report that the city commissioned and the mayor failed to read indicates that the city has been falsely reporting lower response times by a full minute and if the mayor believes that is insignificant, we think the taxpayers disagree.”
The mayor said there is no denying the new system is better.
"We've combined the systems and it's working, and we will listen to any criticisms and take it seriously," said Bloomberg.
The administration has committed to adopting two of the 14 recommendations in the report and the rest are under review.