September 30, 2014 |
Philadelphia's Unified Dispatch Unit is shoehorned into a nondescript office on the seventh floor of City Hall. With its stained drop-ceiling panels and fluorescent lighting, the office hardly looks controversial. Duct tape covers tears in the industrial-gray carpet. On one dingy buff-colored wall is a map of the city. On another is a poster: "Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part. " Managing Director Richard Negrin describes it as the city's nerve center, a hub that allows Philadelphia's public servants to communicate with one another day or night.
September 22, 2014 |
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Nittany Nation had been awaiting this day since Penn State boarded the charter flight last month for Ireland - a team that consistently could pound the ball on the ground and dominate the game. No one, however, loved seeing this offensive development more than the Nittany Lions players. "Whenever you can run the ball and physically impose your will on the defense, it's definitely good for the team," senior Bill Belton said Saturday, after scoring two of Penn State's five rushing touchdowns in a 48-7 romp over winless Massachusetts on a sun-splashed day at Beaver Stadium.
September 5, 2014 |
A HOT-BLOODED punk took major offense to a harmless accident, shooting another man several times outside a West Philly corner store Friday. Now, that victim - who police sources say is the husband of a department radio dispatcher - is fighting for his life at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Edward Lynn, 49, was shot six times outside A&A Deli, on Haverford Avenue near Farson, according to sources. Medics took him to the hospital, where he remained last night in critical but stable condition.
August 9, 2014 |
Soon, residents in the Pennsylvania suburbs will be able to reach 911 dispatchers by text message. Montgomery, Chester, Bucks, and Berks Counties agreed Thursday to jointly implement the new technology. Montgomery County officials, who are administering the regional effort, hope to have it up and running by early 2015. That will require new equipment and software and, more important, training dispatchers how to handle emergencies reported in 160 characters or less. "There are plenty of times when the person who needs assistance does not want to be overheard, when a telephone call is not a good idea," said Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce L. Castor Jr. "Talking is better, but we don't want to alert a bad guy, if somebody is hiding or whatever.
August 7, 2014 |
When you call 911 from a mobile phone but do not know your exact location, a complex array of technologies is supposed to lend a hand, automatically transmitting a good estimate of your position to a dispatcher. But when a 14-year-old Philadelphia boy was drowning June 29 in Ocean City, N.J., an accurate electronic location showed up on dispatchers' screens for only two of the four calls seeking help, according to police data. The two callers pinpointed by the automated system were unsure where they were.
July 22, 2014 |
A FORMER Philadelphia police dispatcher and the co-owner of a Frankford auto-body shop pleaded guilty yesterday to participating in a bribery scheme involving the tow-trucking biz. Dorian Parsley, 44, the ex-dispatcher, admitted before U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno that she had taken cash bribes from tow-truck operators in exchange for giving them confidential police information about the locations of accident scenes. In a separate hearing before the judge, William Cheeseman, 43, co-owner of the K&B auto-body shop on Kinsey Street near Worth, pleaded guilty to one count of bribery.
May 16, 2014 |
THREE OF the four defendants in an alleged bribery scam involving a police dispatcher and three tow-truck operators pleaded not guilty at their arraignments in federal court yesterday. Dorian Parsley, 44, the civilian dispatcher who has since been suspended from the Police Department with intent to dismiss, declined to speak with a reporter afterward. William Cheeseman, 42, of Delran, N.J., an owner of K&B auto-body shop, a family business in Frankford, and Chad Harris, 22, of Philadelphia, a tow-truck operator who at times worked for K&B, also pleaded not guilty yesterday.
May 11, 2014 |
A tow-truck driver with a history and a veteran police dispatcher bent city rules to move one Northeast towing company into the fast lane in the lucrative, rough-and-tumble business of clearing Philadelphia's wrecks, federal prosecutors said Friday. Authorities allege that Dorian Parsley, a 911 dispatcher for 16 years, raked in kickbacks for tipping off favored tow truck operators to locations of fender-benders and disabled vehicles reported to the city's call center. In exchange, the drivers paid her up to $200 a week between February 2011 and December 2013 for advance notice of wrecks before official calls were placed to the next towing company up on the city's rotating list.
March 27, 2014 |
THE PHILADELPHIA Civil Service Commission today will hear a pitch on how the Nutter administration plans to make staffing changes to ambulance runs - but not without resistance from the union that represents the city's firefighters and paramedics. Nutter is seeking approval from the Civil Service Commission to allow the Fire Department to implement a new deployment plan for 9-1-1 calls - one that replaces the two paramedics who are dispatched with one paramedic and one EMT. Paramedics receive more in-depth training than their EMT counterparts.