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City Council Holds Hearing on City's 911 Glitches

Friday, June 21, 2013

New York City officials said Friday they will investigate the error that lead to a delay in responding to a car crash where a 4-year-old girl was crushed.

The City Council looked into claims that the city's new, $2 billion emergency response system is plagued with glitches at a hearing in response to the death of Ariel Russo.

Ariel, 4, was struck by an unlicensed teenage driver fleeing police on June 4. The teen, who had taken his parent's car without permission, was stopped by police for reckless driving and then took off, police said. He was charged with vehicular manslaughter.

The Russo family says that a 4-minute delay in dispatching emergency personnel may have contributed to their daughter's death. They are suing the city for $40 million.

At the hearing, Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway said he believed the technology worked the way it was supposed to and that human error was likely responsible for the delay. Fire Commissioner Sal Cassano agreed. However, emergency dispatch and other union officials said it was a system problem, one of several other issues that have shut the 911 system down for up to an hour at a time.

On Friday, Holloway said the city will continue to investigate.

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