STATEN ISLAND — Some 911 calls made in Staten Island are being routed to operators in New Jersey, a councilman said.
Councilman Joe Borelli started an investigation after Jayce Nichols, of Huguenot, got into a car accident in Tottenville earlier this month. When she called 911 on her cellphone, her call ended up being taken by a 911 operator in Jersey.
"It took additional time for the operator to realize that the call had possibly been misdirected," Nichols said.
"I’m glad there weren’t any serious consequences of this quirk in the 911 system."
Nichols and several others reported the problems to Borelli's office and he has started to work with Verizon to make sure calls get to the right control rooms.
"Although only a fraction of calls along the extreme south-western shore of Staten Island have been misdirected, the statistic doesn’t mean much to someone in the midst of an emergency," Borelli said.
"This is an issue that has, over the years, become more prevalent as people rely more on cell phones, and I’m glad that Verizon is taking affirmative steps to address these problems when they occur in specific geographic areas."
A spokesman for Verizon said they were looking for a fix to the problem.
"Verizon is actively investigating and working to resolve this issue," a spokesman for Verizon said in a statement.
The reports that calls are being routed calls to New Jersey aren't the first complaints that the cellular routing system has been improperly directing 911 calls outside the borough.
In September, a woman called 911 after she thought the Staten Island Railway car she was riding on had been shot at, CBS New York reported.
While it turned out it was actually rocks being thrown at the window, the woman told CBS that the operator kept asking for the train number — even though the borough only has one line — and eventually hung up on her.
And last summer, City Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal worked with Verizon to finally put a stop to a yearslong issue on the Upper West Side in which cell towers automatically diverted 911 calls placed in the area to dispatchers in New Jersey.