911 dispatcher orders pizza, ignores emergency calls

Frances Francois accused of ignoring 911 call about man fainting

SUNRISE, Fla. – A 911 dispatcher in Broward County is accused of ordering a pizza while on duty last year, consequently failing to answer a call made from an optometry office about a young man who had fainted.  

"When we were made aware of the complaint, immediate action was taken," Broward County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Veda Coleman-Wright said in a statement Friday. "An internal affairs investigation was conducted and determined the employee did violate agency policy. As a result, she was disciplined."

According to an internal affairs report, Frances Francois was on duty Sept. 11 when she was on the phone with Poppy's Pizza for more than eight minutes.

LISTEN: Full call made to Poppy's Pizza

The report said "at least one call was not responded to in a timely fashion."

When questioned about the incident, Francois admitted that she placed a call to order lunch. When asked if personal phone calls should be placed while she is logged into the 911 system, Francois said that "has been the practice for the 12 years she has been with the agency," the report said.

Francois claimed that her supervisors had told her she was allowed to make outgoing calls quickly, and said it had never been a problem before.

When asked if she heard the 911 lines ringing, Francois said she wasn't paying attention to her surroundings and didn't realize that the desk was not fully staffed to manage the incoming calls.

According to the report, when asked when an appropriate time to place food orders would be, Francois said, "I won't place food orders no more, especially if it's going to jam me up like this. I'm not going to do it no more for anybody."

Because Francois did not have a previous disciplinary history, she was given a written reprimand.

According to the Sun-Sentinel, the man who had fainted at Clearsight Opticians in Fort Lauderdale regained consciousness and is doing fine.

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