Garfield Heights 911 call about dangerous drunk driver never relayed to police

Posted at 5:19 PM, Dec 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-30 17:42:32-05
A 911 call about a dangerous drunk driver in Garfield Heights was never relayed to police.

It has people who live there fired-up, many taking to social media to vent- calling the city's regional dispatch center an issue

"It came out that the Garfield Heights police refused to respond to the call and that's simply not the case, " Garfield Heights police chief, Robert Byrne, told News 5. 

Chief Byrne said 911 dispatchers never told police about the call. 

"They got a call for a possible drunk driver, they didn't put it out to our cars, and they were wrong for doing that," he said. 

Garfield Heights 911 calls go through a regional SECC dispatch center- that center also takes calls for Bedford, Bedford Heights, and Maple Heights.

The chief said the incident is not indicative of an issue with regional dispatching. 

"They are going through some growing pains. You take four cities and put them together. You have dispatchers that worked strictly for Garfield Heights, no they're working for 4 other cities," he said.

Garfield Heights merged their dispatch center back in 2013. It reportedly saved the city about 160-thousand dollars. 

Chief Byrne said safety remains the number one priority. 

"Calls that could be a safety issue, we respond immediately," he said. 

According to Chief Byrne, the incident is being reviewed by the dispatch center. 

News 5 called the center's manager, Greg Duber. Duber declined an interview request, but said

 "We took a complaint and dispatchers failed to get it out. We are dealing with it internally."