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Blackouts And Breakdowns With Cincinnati's 911 System

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Cincinnati's 911 system suffered eight failures from June 2016 to March 2017.

In an emergency, when seconds count, three and a half hours can feel like an eternity. On July 18, 2017 that's the amount of time Cincinnati's 911 system was down. It was a record failure for the city's emergency system but it wasn't the first.

There have been at least eight system-wide failures in the past year. The problem lies with Comtech Telecommunications, a sub-contractor for Cincinnati Bell, which is the city's service provider. In March, Cincinnati Bell agreed to let the city unplug from Comtech's system but Cincinnati Bell still uses the subcontractor in 14 other local jurisdictions.

Here to discuss the recent 911 blackouts and the city's plans for the system are Cincinnati Police Department Chief of Police Eliot Isaac; Cincinnati City Council Member Chris Seelbach; City of Cincinnati Department of Enterprise Technology Solutions Chief Information Officer Jayson Dunn; and Cincinnati Enquirer Investigative Reporter Sharon Coolidge.