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Sheriff: Problems With 911 Delayed Response To School Massacre

School shooting
Parents wait for news after a reports of a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Feb. 14.
Joel Auerbach/AP

The chairman of the commission investigating the Florida high school massacre said quirks in the local 911 and emergency dispatch system created problems with law enforcement response.

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said Wednesday the dual dispatch system used by the city of Parkland delayed getting police and paramedics timely information during the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 dead on Feb. 14.

Parkland gets police service from the Broward Sheriff's Office, and fire and paramedic service from the neighboring city of Coral Springs, which also has a police department. Cellular 911 calls from Parkland go to Coral Springs. Those that are for police are transferred to Broward County's 911 center. Almost all calls from Stoneman Douglas were from cell phones, which had to be transferred, adding about 30 seconds before each one reached a dispatcher.

Nikolas Cruz, 19, is accused of using a semi-automatic rifle to kill 17 people at the school.

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission is holding a three-day meeting to discuss issues surrounding the attack. The commission meets monthly and will issue a report by Jan. 1.

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