Top 9-1-1 Official Retires Amid System Crisis

After Santa Barbara officials expressed frustration for years with the state’s flawed 9-1-1 system, Assistant Director of Public Safety Communications Karen Wong recently retired. She held the position for six years. Assemblymember Das Williams, along with City Fire Chief Pat McElroy and others, have frequently traveled to Sacramento to highlight the system’s problems with routing 9-1-1 cell phone calls to the correct dispatch center. They contended Wong was dead set against fixing the problem. “We are hopeful that changes in the 9-1-1 office are going to be a positive thing,” McElroy said. In request to comment, state Office of Emergency Services director Mark Ghilarducci issued a statement congratulating Wong on her retirement.

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