911: Hanging on the line

911: Hanging on the line

After a stabbed Oakland police officer almost died because his own 911 calls failed to connect, the NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit revealed Oakland has the second worst 911 answering time in the state where it's not uncommon for callers to get busy signals.

Months of reporting revealed a deeply broken 911 system and a state agency that’s fallen egregiously behind on its oversight.

Following these investigations and a civil grand jury report, a state agency put Oakland on notice and, in September, Oakland’s mayor announced a $2.5 million investment into the city’s 911 department.

‘I don't dial 911 anymore': Oakland's worsening 911 crisis

There’s a 9-1-1 calling crisis, and in Oakland, it’s far worse than any other city, or even county, in the state. Investigative reporter Candice Nguyen brings this issue to city leaders.

Oakland's 911 system was down 30 hour. It's part of a bigger issue

The city of Oakland said a power outage caused the emergency communication center to go down for nearly 30 hours -- a report that came to light after NBC Bay Area’s Investigative Unit’s report. Candice Nguyen has been investigating Oakland’s 911 system for weeks and explains.

Part 3: CHP Bay Area responds to having longest 911 answering times in California

Out of the 450 911 call centers across California, CHP Golden Gate Division had the longest averaging answering time in the state in 2023, according to California Office of Emergency Services’ data analyzed by the NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit. Candice Nguyen reports.

Part 4: Californians paid more than a $1B into 911 over the years as oversight falls behind

With industrywide staffing shortages, 911 answering times quadrupling mandated standards and more people saying they’re losing trust in their city’s ability to respond to emergencies, the NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit examined state and federal oversight of 911 centers. Candice Nguyen reports.

Part 5: Oakland mayor announces $2.5M investment into city's 911 system

Oakland says it’s finally moving to address its failing 911 calling system. This action follows multiple NBC Bay Area Investigations and a grand jury report. Investigative reporter Candice Nguyen uncovered many of these issues, and has the latest.

Part 6: Oakland still hasn’t installed 911 technology it bought 5 years ago

While focusing on staffing issues plaguing Oakland’s failing 911 system, city officials recently confirmed they’re still sitting on millions of dollars’ worth of 911 technology purchased in 2018. Candice Nguyen reports.

Part 7: Texting 911 can't geolocate as accurately as voice calls, putting vulnerable more at risk

Disproportionately impacting the Deaf and victims of violence, California’s 911 texting system does not offer the same location accuracy as 911 voice calls, an NBC Bay Area investigation found. Candice Nguyen reports.

Part 8: FCC to discuss emergency communication access solutions

NBC Bay Area’s Investigative Unit found the 911 technology can't always locate you in an emergency. Now, the federal government is working on solutions. Candice Nguyen has the details.

Part 9: ‘I was blocked': On top of 911 issues, Oakland non-emergency line leaves callers hanging

Oakland’s non-emergency line is supposed to help free up busy dispatchers, but one mother says the helpline is as broken as the city’s 911 system. Candice Nguyen reports.

Part 10: Oakland city leaders dig for what led to failing 911 system, steps to move forward

Two Oakland city councilmembers are pressing staff for action and answers as they try to determine why the city’s 911 and non-emergency answering times are among the worst in the state. Investigative reporter Candice Nguyen reports.

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