Dispatcher fired in carjacking case is reinstated as Arundel employee

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 in the 911 center. The call-taker now working in a nearby county had eight years of experience in 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 not upheld entirely by county officials.

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

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