Reoccurring 911 outages impacting Grayson County callers

Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 6:19 PM CST
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SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) - Some 911 callers in Grayson County got unexpected answers at the other end of the line recently.

“They would receive a busy signal,” said Sgt. Brett Mullen with Sherman Police. “This last one was a little bit different. The calls were being forwarded to a national 911 service.”

That’s happened at least four times since December for Sherman police and the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office.

“It was almost like one a week for a short time,” said Capt. Marty Hall with the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office.

Law enforcement points to crews cutting into fiber optic cables, which are used for high-speed internet connections.

“All of our 911 lines run through these fiber optic cables, and they’re usually buried in the ground, so anytime there is construction going on, sometimes these lines get cut,” said Mullen.

According to Sherman Police, a cut line in a completely different county can still nip dispatch in Texoma.

“It’s been something that’s kind of out of our control, and we kind of just have to roll with the punches when it happens,” said Mullen.

When an outage happens, departments said they team up.

“We do have the capability to get the 911 calls either routed to or picked up by another center so that those calls don’t go unanswered,” said Hall.

They also rely on the non-emergency dispatch number.

“We try to make sure to get the information out as quickly as possible on social media,” said Mullen.

So far, both departments said the outages are not delaying responses.

“To our knowledge, we have not had any drastic effects or anything basically from the outages at least up to this point,” said Hall. “Whatever the work is that’s being done hopefully comes to an end that way these will stop happening.”