By: Sharon Aron BaronCaller: ‘I’m on the Sawgrass and there is a guy driving on the other side of the road. 911 Dispatch: Ok let me give you the number for Florida Highway Patrol
Coral Springs Police Department announced in a formal statement today that two emergency dispatchers were issued eight hour suspensions without pay for not meeting standards expected the morning of November 17, 2013 minutes before Kaitlyn Ferrante and Marisa Cantronio were hit by Kayla Mendoza who was driving the wrong way on the Sawgrass Expessway.
After an administrative review, Chief Tony Pustizzi issued the suspension.
From the Coral Springs Police Department:
On November 17, 2013, at approximately 1:45 a.m., the Communications Center of the Coral Springs Police Department began receiving calls from citizens advising a vehicle was traveling in the wrong direction of the Sawgrass Expressway. The first call received by Coral Springs dispatch in which they were advised of the wrong way driver, was in fact immediately transferred to Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) as a traffic related call for service. Subsequent calls were received and the immediate actions of the call takers ranged from transferring callers, at the callers’ request, to FHP, providing callers with FHP contact information (*FHP), and transferring calls directly to FHP. Coral Springs Police personnel were ultimately dispatched to the area of the wrong way driver. The first arriving Coral Springs Police units on scene were able to remove occupants from their vehicles and began rendering aid until Coral Springs Fire Rescue arrived.
The administrative review showed that the call takers did in fact take immediate action by verbally passing along information to the main channel dispatcher, however they failed to enter the information into the CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch) system as a call for service. It should be noted that FHP is the primary agency for traffic enforcement and motor vehicle crashes on the Sawgrass Expressway and the Coral Springs Police.
Chief Pustizzi and the command staff from the Florida Highway Patrol have discussed new response procedures and are working to modify the Memorandum of Understanding between both agencies.