Security guards complain of delays & unanswered 911 calls - - Jackson, MS

Security guards complain of delays & unanswered 911 calls

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Citizens have complained in the past about delays in answering 911 calls.

But now those same charges are being made by local security guards.

One man claims no one picked up the phone when his life was threatened.

"There was anywhere between 15 to 20 to 25 shots last night," said Blue Finest Security guard David Palmer.

The 52 year old said he feared for his life and grew frustrated while waiting for 911 to answer his calls about gunfire late Tuesday night.

Palmer was patrolling a location on Livingston Street when he heard shots and saw a man running.

"I'm on the phone with 911 when they finally do answer the phone," Palmer said. "I had to duck down on the side of my car to get in my car last night. At one point I thought one of the bullets they had shot at me because they were just that close."

Fredrick Jenkins also works for the company and said he had a close call 2 weeks ago near downtown when he was being held at knife point.

"I have my gun in one hand and the phone in another, so after it rings like 50 times, I'm like forget it, put the phone back in my pocket," Jenkins said. "You said 50 times? Forty or 50 times I promise you. A lot and it was just ringing, and I'm like this is 911."

Both men said security guards rely on 911 for police assistance.

"I was up in there watching a movie at the time, so I heard a couple of gunshots, but by the time I came outside everything had died down," said Livingston Street resident Stephon Garrett. "Five to 10 minutes later the police came."

"It's very difficult for us to investigate complaints that we receive second hand through the media," said Jackson Police Assistant Chief Lee Vance.

According to Jackson Police, no formal complaints have been registered with the department about those 911 calls.

"We need to get good solid information from individuals who want to make complaints," Vance said. "We are open to them. Give us the information. Let us analyze it. Let us see where the break downs are if we have one and then give us an opportunity to fix it so that we don't have the same type problem occur again."

Jackson Police Dept. officials said 911 should only be used for emergencies, when someone is in immediate danger.

Both security guards said that was the case with their calls.

Neither has filed a formal complaint.

"I'm not complaining about the police," Jenkins said. "They're doing their jobs. I'm complaining about 911, the emergency number."

"It needs looking into," Palmer said. "It needs overhauling or whatever."

If you have a problem with 911 service you can contact Deputy Chief Lindsey Horton at 601-960-1951 to file a formal complaint.

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