A Beaver County 911 Dispatcher has been suspended without pay after officials say he failed to notify the county that he had been arrested.
According to court dockets, William Craig Anderson, 31 of New Brighton, was arrested back on May 24th by the Pennsylvania State Police on misdemeanor charges of possessing a small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia along with summary motor vehicle violations. County records show Anderson was hired as a Beaver County 911 Dispatcher in January of 2015 and was promoted to full-time status in May of that same year after successfully completing a county training program.
County officials tell the Beaver Countian that Anderson failed to report his arrest to Beaver County Emergency Services and continued working as a dispatcher until just last week, when EMS Director Eric Brewer independently learned that charges had been filed against the man. Anderson was on vacation at the time and was informed on the day he returned that the county had now become aware of his arrest from nearly two months ago.
Sources familiar with the matter told the Beaver Countian that Anderson’s access to the Commonwealth Law Enforcement Assistance Network (CLEAN) remained active despite his arrest due to an erroneous date of birth that had been entered into the system under his credentials by the state. CLEAN is a system administered by the Pennsylvania State Police that allows dispatchers and others in the criminal justice system to access driver license and motor vehicle information, state criminal history record information, stolen vehicle hot-sheets, and registries for Protection From Abuse Orders. The system also acts as a conduit to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC).
County officials say Anderson’s access to CLEAN was suspended this week for up to 90 days leaving him unable to work as a dispatcher. His suspension from the county is indefinite until Anderson’s access to CLEAN is restored by the Pennsylvania State Police and the charges against him are settled.
William Anderson has entered into a diversionary program newly instituted under District Attorney David Lozier that will see the criminal charges pending against him dismissed and expunged if he completes a set of requirements that include counseling and random drug testing.
Officials say provisions within union contracts regulate the disciplinary actions that can be taken against dispatchers.
County officials and law enforcement sources spoke to the Beaver Countian for this report on condition they not be quoted by name while discussing personnel matters.
County 911 Center Plagued By Drug And Alcohol Issues
William Anderson is the latest in a string of Beaver County 911 Dispatchers to be arrested on charges involving drugs or alcohol.
In December of last year, dispatcher Daniel Mraovich was arrested by the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department on his 2nd charge of DUI and Wanton Endagerment Involving a Firearm after police alleged he pulled out a gun and fired off a shot outside of a bar in West Virginia. Like Anderson, officials said at the time that Mraovich also returned to work without notifying the county he had been arrested.
In September of last year, dispatcher Brittany Renee Trainer was arrested on two first-degree misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a child after police say she overdosed on heroin and had to be revived with Narcan. Police had alleged that drug paraphernalia was left in reach of her young children.
In an incident from December of 2015, two women were granted a temporary Protection From Abuse Order against another county dispatcher after alleging he had prevented them from calling 911 during an alcohol related domestic altercation.
Back in 2012, a county dispatcher was arrested on DUI charges after totaling her vehicle. Police said at the time that her blood alcohol level was .31 — nearly 4 times the legal limit to drive.