Statement at Public Safety Committee Hearing
On E911 System
February 11, 2003
Good morning. My name is Monica Gabrielle and I am Co-Chairperson of The Skyscraper Safety Campaign. I am also a window of September 11th.
The recent unsettling news that our system has once again broken down and failed has left me almost speechless! Once again, tax dollars and surcharges were misappropriated -- this time for frivolous items and services. Four young boys perished needlessly. Once again, we trusted a system to deliver what it said it would -- upgraded E911 service for cell phones.
I am outraged - $162 million dollars over the course of over 10 years collected and squandered. Taxpayer dollars! Every New Yorker who had and has a cell phone paid a surcharge for a service that was NEVER delivered. The mobility of cell phones makes such tracking technology crucial in the event of an emergency. Why was this upgrade not made? Who is responsible for the misappropriation of these funds? The fact that all these monies were collected and no upgrade was instituted is nothing short of criminal -- especially now that there are 4 more lives apparently lost.
On September 11th, we found that the lack of proper technology within our emergency services contributed to a large loss of life. How many lives could have been saved? Today, we find even more lives might have been saved with the promised upgraded system.
I demand that the taxpayer dollars contributed for the last decade be immediately applied to upgrade our E911 cell phone system before more lives are lost due to government mismanagement.
Once again, I voice my belief in accountability and responsibility. Someone is responsible for this outrage -- someone needs to be held accountable.
Thank your for giving me the opportunity to speak.
Skyscraper Safety Campaign
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