Fired 911 Call-Taker Wants Job Back

A fired 911 call-taker wants her job back and on Thursday she made that emotional plea in a news conference.

Angela Herod-Graham took a call from Vickie Cook on August 19. Cook was looking for her daughter, Deanna. She hadn't heard from her in two days and when Cook failed to show up to church, the family was worried and wanted an officer to go by her home.

Herod-Graham said, following procedures, she told the family to call around hospitals and jails first.

Soon after, the family said they forced their way into her home and found Deanna dead inside her own home. Cook's former husband was arrested  and charged with murder in connection with her death.

The Dallas Police Department, which oversees the 911 call-center terminated Herod-Graham because it said she did not get the call sheet in fast enough. In other words, police say she did not get information to officers quick enough.

In that letter, police also said this was her third offense and that she had previously mishandled two other calls. Police said she had been disciplined for failure to report a 911 call regarding a police officer being assaulted and for disconnecting a citizen from 911 while she was attempting to report a man with a gun outside her home.

Thursday, tearfully, she pleaded for her job back.

"It has affected everything in my life, 18 years of being devoted and for something to be taken away from us, its drastic," she said. "We have no income."

Thursday, Dallas Police would not comment on the matter, and neither would the city. However, on Wednesday the Dallas mayor Mike Rawlings said change was on its way to the call center.

Police said on August 22 that they created a new classification for call takers and dispatchers to use when relaying reports to officers in the field. The new class is for calls involving serious bodily injury or death and will be listed as highest priority.

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