Sheriff Says Public Safety Compromised During Phone Outage

I personally attempted numerous calls to 911 with my Verizon phone, and at no time was I able to connect to 911, Chaffee County Communications Center, nor did the calls roll over to another communications center in the region,” Spezze wrote.

Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze wrote an email Thursday informing the public about a compromise to public safety involving Verizon Wireless, Charter Communications and Chaffee County’s 911 service.

He noted that a loss of service about 2 p.m. Thursday in Salida and extending as far north as Buena Vista disrupted 911 service for cellphone users.
“I personally attempted numerous calls to 911 with my Verizon phone, and at no time was I able to connect to 911, Chaffee County Communications Center, nor did the calls roll over to another communications center in the region,” Spezze wrote.

He said he has been assured numerous times by Verizon Wireless that during a loss of service, redundancy has been built into the system. At the very minimum, “we would be able to have 911 service during such outages,” he wrote.
“This is not true,” Spezze wrote, adding, “at the time of this press release I have no access to 911 services … This is unacceptable.”

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