Forced Resignation/9-1-1 San Diego Dispatch Director Out

SAN DIEGO, CAGerardo Gurrola’s time as Program Manager for the City of San Diego’s 9-1-1 Dispatch system has come to an end.

City officials confirmed Gurrola has resigned amid the controversy over unanswered calls and long hold times.

Gurrola’s replacement will be San Diego Police Department Captain Jerry Hara.

State mandates require police departments to try to answer 9-1-1 calls within 10 seconds at least 90 percent of the time. In April 2016, SDPD answered within the 10 second goal only 67 percent of the time.

The issue has become a central campaign talking point for those challenging the leadership of Republican incumbent Kevin Faulconer.

Democrat Mayoral candidate San Diego lifeguard Ed Harris has been particularly critical of Faulconer on the issue that he says impacts public safety. Harris told NBC 7 San Diego, “He didn’t inherit this problem,” Harris said. “He owns this problem. Two and a half years. If you can’t fix something, in two and a half years, if you’re still talking about goals after two and a half years. If you worked in the private sector, you wouldn’t have a job.”

“Well, you know, I want to change the management from the very top because I really feel like this comes from the top down,” Independent candidate Lori Saldaña said in reaction to the news of Gurrola’s departure.

Mayor Faulconer has not issued a statement on the resignation. Faulconer has authorized more police officers to work dispatch with eight officers fielding calls and another 65 in training to assist dispatch when possible.

Faulconer has also announced an additional $652,000 to the SDPD budget to retain and recruit more dispatchers.

Voters will have the chance to voice their concerns they have on the June 7 primary.