Two Anne Arundel County emergency operators have been suspended without pay and will receive notice of the county's intention to fire them for botching the 911 call about the carjacking of a Glen Burnie pharmacist, officials said yesterday.
Police officials have faulted the two 911 operators for failing to relay information from the Aug. 8 call to police officers, who might have been able to intervene before 26-year-old Yvette A. Beakes was killed, authorities said.
The dispatchers - one of whom has 24 years experience and the other eight years - are scheduled to meet with Deputy Chief Emerson Davis on Wednesday to answer the charges.
Police Chief P. Thomas Shanahan made the preliminary decision to fire the dispatchers Thursday after reviewing the investigation of the call.
But the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which represents the operators, are criticizing police for blaming the dispatchers, saying that the county's 911 operators are poorly trained, forced to work overtime and must use what they call an antiquated computer system.
Fraternal Order of Police President Paul Ingley also questioned yesterday the wisdom of firing two dispatchers when the 911 center is already short-staffed.
The female dispatchers - who are not being identified by county officials - were suspended with pay Aug. 15.
Police say the Aug. 8 emergency call about several men assaulting Beakes could have been critical, because detectives believe Beakes' abductors drove her around for several hours before they shot her in the head.
An anonymous caller dialed 911 from a pay phone at 11:58 p.m. and hung up, police said. Seconds later, she called back to report a car accident involving a white woman and four black men, and described their cars. She also described an assault on the woman.
Police were dispatched to the pay phone to check the 911 hang-up, but were not told about the second call detailing the carjacking, officials said.
Four suspects were charged with first-degree murder two days later, after one of the suspects used Beakes' cellular phone.
County police officials said that the 911 operator taking the second call from the pay phone did not create a new entry in the computer. Instead, she added the information to notes about the initial 911 hang-up, which police officials said was a violation of procedures.
The dispatcher reviewing the entries did not relay the new information to officers.
Arundel police didn't know about the 911 call until Baltimore homicide detectives requested a log of the emergency calls the county received in the area the night Beakes was abducted.