Technical issues impact 911 calls in Oakland, sources say backup systems failed

A spokesperson for the City of Oakland says technical difficulties have impacted 911 and nonemergency calls on Thursday. 

The issues were first reported shortly after 3 p.m. A source tells KTVU the problem is the result of a power outage and backup systems that did not work. 

Police are stationed outside Oakland's main 911 call center. 

Pacific Gas & Electric said the afternoon outage affected more than 10,800 customers in Oakland. 

"Routing of 911 calls is temporarily slower than normal as a result. All emergency calls are being answered and appropriately dispatched for police, fire and medical services," city officials wrote in a statement. 

"Unfortunately everything is breaking down in the city of Oakland. It doesn't matter what we look at things are not working," said Nancy Sidebotham a longtime Oakland homeowner. She said she was among those who lost power and questions why the city's 911 center is impacted and what happened to its backup system. 

A source said the call center does have two backups – a battery system and a generator. The generator did turn on, but the power transfer switch did not work. 

The source said that the city's IT department has known for months that the switch is broken. The 20-year-old battery system worked but only for one hour. 

No maintenance has been done on the system in the past five years. 

The city did not provide a timeline for when the system would be fully restored. 


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