DPD emergency dispatch back online after day-long outage

DPD emergency dispatch back online after day-long outage

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DETROIT (WJBK) -

Detroit's police, firefighters and medics are used to dealing with emergencies, but this one revealed an alarming weakness. The dispatch system went down around 5:30 a.m. Friday.

Sgt. Eren Stephens told Fox 2 that the sytem was back online and stable around 9 p.m. Friday.

A spokeswoman with Motorola Solutions says 9 of 10 antennae sites are up and running in stable condition. All 30 channels are also working fine.

But earlier in the day officers were forced to use their cell phones and land lines to communicate. Officers had to travel together to ensure safety, which led to delayed responses across the city.

"We lost total radio communications. We did not have radio communications for two hours," said Detroit Police Chief James Craig.

Even the backup system failed, something Craig has never seen in all his years on the job.

"I'm concerned why our fallback system didn't switch on, and when I asked the question if we've ever checked it, it was a software issue, it has not been so I'm told now," Craig said.

By late Friday afternoon, 80 percent of the dispatch system was back up and running, but this emergency is raising some serious questions.

"Certainly as part of our contract with Motorola is that we have a maintenance program. The City of Detroit does pay an amount for that, and so my question was when was the last time we had maintenance and what we, the Detroit Police Department, has done in terms of checking our redundancies, and again, as I said earlier, we have not done so, and I'm concerned about that," Craig said.

"This will not happen again. That's my assurance to the community, and we're going to get to the bottom of it."

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