Deputies: Consolidated Dispatch employee "off duty" pending investigation

Deputies: Consolidated Dispatch employee "off duty" pending investigation

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - The sheriff's office says one employee at the Charleston County Consolidated Dispatch Center has been placed on leave while investigators look into the reported mishandling of calls for service.

Charleston County Sheriff's Major Jim Brady said the investigation began last week, on Aug. 28, at the request of Charleston County Government officials.

Assistant Sheriff Mitch Lucas spoke at a press conference Wednesday, saying officials have honed in on one employee who made mistakes with some calls, specifically a 911 call for Mt. Pleasant police.

According to the call, a concerned citizen said she was watching a group of kids jumping fences and going house-to-house with a flashlight near Cummings Circle. The kids then got into a car and drove away.

The caller said the neighborhood recently experienced a string of break-ins.

After hanging up, the same person called back later and told the dispatcher the car returned with the kids. The dispatcher is then heard telling the caller she would reopen the previous call.

Lucas says the employee, who has been working at the dispatch center for less than two years, has not been on duty since the beginning of the investigation.

An incident report refers to calls being "improperly logged and/or handled" at the center, located at 8500 Palmetto Commerce Parkway.

The calls that were not dispatched properly were for law enforcement, not EMS or firefighters, Lucas said.

Shawn Smetana, the county's media relations coordinator, said Wednesday, "It is important to address all citizen concerns, and the county takes these situations very seriously. We appreciate the public bringing this matter to our attention, and have asked the sheriff's office to look into it so we can take necessary actions."

According to Lucas, the Consolidated Dispatch Center handles approximately 2,200 calls per day.

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