Former 911 dispatchers fired for misusing IM's

An attorney representing two former Hamilton County 911 dispatchers says his clients were fired after being accused of misusing an instant messaging system.

This undated screen grab provided by Mike Trang shows a warning message on the screen of Trang's iPhone that he received from AT&T advising he was in danger of having his data speeds throttled. AT&T considers Trang to be among the top 5 percent of the heaviest cellular data users in his area. Under a new policy, AT&T has started cutting their data speeds as part of an attempt to manage data usage on its network. (AP Photo/courtesy of Mike Trang)

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- An attorney representing two former Hamilton County 911 dispatchers says his clients were fired after being accused of misusing an instant messaging system.

Lawyer Gerald Tidwell declined to identify his clients until he reviews evidence against them. Tidwell said the dispatchers were not neglecting their duties and he believes the complaints against them came from supervisors who were monitoring internal messages.

John Stuermer, the executive director of the Hamilton County's Emergency Communications District, confirmed that 11 dispatchers have been questioned in an internal investigation. Stuermer did not confirm the dismissal of dispatchers or a report that a third dispatcher was suspended.

An open records request was filed Tuesday, asking for rules governing the use of district equipment and details of which rules dispatchers may have violated.


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