JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — When every second counts, you rely on 911 to answer. But new Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office records obtained by Action News Jax show the seconds callers waited on the line nearly doubled during an attempted cyberattack earlier in August.
The average 911 ring time hovered just above 20 seconds over the past few months and hit 21 seconds in July.JSO said on Aug. 5, just before the city’s network issues, the time dipped down to 12 seconds.
That’s when the city’s network issues prompted the JSO to shut down parts of its computer system used by dispatchers, called “computer-assisted dispatch.”
The next Saturday, the average ring time jumped to 22 seconds and then 40 seconds on Sunday. On Monday, it dropped down to around 20 seconds again after the city said the problem had been resolved
.For perspective, 40 seconds is almost double the department’s average in the past few months and nearly four times the state standard of 10 seconds.”It’s concerning and a lot of people need to know about this,” Darlene Yauger said. Action News Jax reported her story earlier in August.
”I’m just worried for people who really have needs for 911 and they’re not going to show up. It’s concerning.”Yauger tried calling 911 when she spotted a man lying on the side of Interstate 95 before JSO’s computer problems happened. She called 911 three different times without getting through.
After the cyberattack, a JSO representative said, “Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Network Engineers continue assessing systems following the recent events. Most importantly, police response times and service levels to the community have not been impacted.”Action News Jax sent the department these numbers and asked again if the computer problems impacted response times.
”Ring times being longer than usual during a particular time would not indicate or dictate response times being longer as a result,” a representative said in response. They went on to say, “Ring time, and the variations seen, were not as a result or related to the network issues experienced by the City of Jacksonville.”
Action News Jax asked what did cause the spike, and so far we have not heard back. However, records show at the start of this year, the dispatch center was short about 40 positions.
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