An emergency dispatcher in Hartford, Conn., is under investigation after he allegedly made a racial slur over a police radio.
The emergency dispatcher was caught on tape saying: "That's going to be 198 Fairfield Ave., same code again 71, arguing with (N-word) neighbors over trash cans."
The dispatcher corrected himself after making the racial slur inside the Hartford Public Safety Complex as he sent a police officer to Fairfield Avenue on Monday.
Ericka Mitchell, of Hartford, said the landlord was arguing with her neighbor, who is African American, over trash cans and the neighbor dialed 911.
The emergency dispatcher accused of making that slur was put on paid leave Wednesday and is now under investigation.
"My heart feels like it's at my feet right now. That is definitely labeling and it's wrong," Mitchell said. "To me that person should never have a job.”
The recent incident comes months after a Hartford police sergeant made racial slurs over a police radio as he described people on the street. He was disciplined and the police chief put him on permanent desk duty.
“It shows disrespect for the taxpayers who pay the salaries of the public service workers in the City of Hartford,” City Councilwoman Cynthia Jennings said.
Jennings said the recent problems could make minorities reluctant to call 911 and trust Hartford's dispatcher and emergency responders.
"It brings about a question how people are being treated of different races and nationalities," Jennings said.
She said after this week’s alarming dispatch call, there could be some changes at the Public Safety Complex.
“We need to take a closer look at who is being hired and who is doing the hiring,” Jennings said.
Officials at the dispatch center said the worker in question had never made a derogatory statement at work before Monday.
They added, when he made that racial slur, a few African American employees were right by him and heard it. They apparently weren’t offended and just thought he mispronounced a word.
The dispatcher is a civilian employee and not part of the Hartford Police or Fire Department.