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Reviews of City's New 911 System Say Bloomberg Administration Was Asleep at Switch

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As promised, the de Blasio administration on Wednesday released a review of the city's new 911 call-taking system, and two other government watchdogs are sounding an alarm over how the project was managed. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.

Three reviews of the city's long-delayed and over-budget 911 system were released all in one day Wednesday.

"We brought all of the agencies involved together, had a very intense 60-day process, as we promised, and restructured every aspect of this project," said First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris.

"The people who were in charge of this system truly blew it," said City Comptroller Scott Stringer.

"That is government malpractice at best," said Mark Peters, commissioner of the city's Department of Investigation.

Essentially, all of the reports claim the Bloomberg administration was asleep at the switch.

The sprawling overhaul of the city's 911 system started under the former mayor about a decade ago. It was supposed to consolidate all of the city's emergency dispatch services.

Earlier this year, Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered a temporary halt and comprehensive review of the $2 billion project.

The order followed several high-profile incidents where first responders were delayed arriving to the scene.

Each report - one by City Hall, another by the city comptroller and a preliminary review by the city's Department of Investigation - found that the project was mismanaged and that no one was clearly at the helm.

"As a result, we have a fragile 911 system that could, quite frankly, cause people to lose their lives," Stringer said.

The de Blasio administration plans to implement changes, including reducing the number of outside consultants and putting the city's technology commissioner at the helm of the entire project. Officials are also committing to the current budget of about $2 billion and finishing the project in 2017.

These are not the only ongoing reviews of the city's 911 system. City Hall is also examining 911's operational structure, essentially taking a look at exactly how a 911 call is placed and who exactly is dispatching emergency services.

"That's a review that is underway, and that we committed to trying to get done by the end of the year," Shorris said.

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