BROWNSVILLE–Cameron County and Brownsville Police Department officials are demanding answers from AT&T over what caused the 911 system to fail Thursday, leaving a half million people without service for emegerncy calls.
For about four hours, the system, which is managed by AT&T, wasn’t available for residents in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.
“Due to a system error in the morning of July 5, the 911 server temporarily went off line and calls were not able to be delivered to police and sheriff departments in Cameron County,” AT&T said in a press release. “The back-up system was engaged and 911 calls were re-routed to Weslaco Police Department.”
Brownsville Police commanders report it took more than two and half hours before the calls were re-routed.
“We do know our 911 system was in tact and it wasn’t our 911 system, said Commander James Paschall of the Brownsville Police Department. “It wasn’t the county’s 911 system. It was the service provider AT&T’s problem.”
Cameron County’s emergnecy calls, whiich covers the entire county and the other police departments, also went unanswered.
AT&T also claimed “To our knowledge no 911 calls were missed or lost. AT&T apologizes for
any inconvenience to our customers.”
Brownsville Police commanders said that’s not true.
“We had one medical emergency delayed due to this issue,” said Commander Paschall. “That what we know of and we aren’t sure how many calls for service were missed.”
Brownsville Police and Cameron County are asking for a written report to detail what happened and why the system failed.
So far, AT&T hasn’t released any information about that as an investigation is ongoing into the failure of the system.