Fired 911 operator receives new job

County reaches deal with woman dismissed after botched call

Fired 911 operator reinstated to county

March 03, 2002|By Laura Barnhardt | Laura Barnhardt,SUN STAFF

An Anne Arundel County 911 dispatcher who was fired for allegedly botching a call about a fatal carjacking has been reinstated as a county employee in a sealed agreement reached last week, county officials confirmed Friday.

But she will not be working in the 911 center, said Mark M. Atkisson, the county's personnel officer.

Two 911 operators were fired from the county's 911 center in September by police Chief P. Thomas Shanahan for allegedly failing to relay critical information to police about an assault on Yvette A. Beakes, a Glen Burnie pharmacist who was later found shot to death in Baltimore.

The other 911 operator fired in connection with the call is employed with another county in an administrative position, officials said.

Police officials blamed the mistake on "human error," while union officials representing the emergency operators faulted the glitches in the 911 computers.

The dispatcher who has been returned to county service had 24 years of experience at the 911 center. The call-taker now working in a nearby county had eight years of experience at the center, said Mike Akers, president of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Local 582.

Neither Akers nor Atkisson would speak about the details of the deal because it involves a personnel matter.

But 911 operators consider the agreement a partial victory because the firings were only partially upheld by county officials.

Police Department officials also have been reviewing staffing levels, training and the 911 center's operating procedures - issues that were raised after Beakes' death in August.

Beakes, 26, was driving to her townhouse off East Ordnance Road when four men lured her from her car by staging an accident, police said.

An anonymous caller dialed 911 from a pay phone near the site of the abduction in Glen Burnie about midnight Aug. 8, then hung up, police have said. Seconds later, a woman called to report a car accident and an assault on a woman at the site. The caller described the cars.

Police were dispatched to the pay phone to check the site of the 911 hang-up, but they were not told about the second call detailing the carjacking, officials have said.

After she was robbed, police said, Beakes was shot in the head. Her body was left in a wooded area in Southwest Baltimore.

Three of the men charged with her murder have pleaded guilty and are to be sentenced next month. A fourth defendant, accused of being the mastermind and gunman, has been indicted on federal charges.

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