Arkadelphia Siftings Herald - Arkadelphia, AR
  • Amy Huckabee called 911 when her ex-husband broke into her home

  • Around the time the intruder broke into 2304 Forrest Park Drive and fatally shot her husband in the early morning hours of Sunday, Jan. 22, Amy Huckabee called 911.

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  • Around the time the intruder broke into 2304 Forrest Park Drive and fatally shot her husband in the early morning hours of Sunday, Jan. 22, Amy Huckabee called 911.
    Huckabee’s voice is audible, though her words can not be deciphered. After about seven seconds, the phone call ended before the dispatcher could learn the caller’s whereabouts or what the problem was.
    No one was sent to her address as a result of that call. The on-duty dispatcher tried calling the number back, but the phone had been turned off and the dispatcher got a message that said the phone’s voicemail inbox was full.
    That call was made at 3:05 a.m.
    Officers with the Arkadelphia Police Department were dispatched to the Huckabee residence three hours later by Union County officials as the result of a welfare check. When they arrived, they discovered 51-year-old Sandy Huckabee’s body on the kitchen floor.
    By the end of the day the intruder, Donald Hux, had killed both of the Huckabees — Sandy in the morning, Amy that night — before he was killed in a gun battle with authorities in Union County.
    The question remains as to why no one was sent to the Huckabees’ residence following Amy’s 911 call.
    According to Clark County Sheriff Jason Watson, it’s because there was no way of knowing where Amy Huckabee was, or where the call originated.
    She used a cell phone to dial 911. And rather than the 911 system “pinging” the call to her Forrest Park Drive residence, the address showed up in the system as a Lower Lake address.
    Was it a discrepancy in the 911 system?
    No, according to John Robinson, Clark County’s 911 coordinator.
    Typical 911 systems were originally based on landline use, Robinson noted, and therefore are not equipped to pinpoint the whereabouts of mobile devices. They instead rely on Phase I or Phase II technology to locate the phone’s location.
    Robinson explained how the 911 system locates the whereabouts of cell phones.
    “Basically, there are two types of calls that come into 911 from cell phones: Phase I and Phase II. The difference is, Phase II gives the GPS location of the phone, whereas with Phase I all the dispatcher gets is a tower’s whereabouts. In those cases, normally, if the dispatcher waits 20-30 seconds, she can hit a retransmit button that will triangulate to give a closer location.”
    Therefore, people should be concerned with the type of phone they use, Robinson said.
    “A lot of people are dropping their landlines and going strictly to cell. It is very, very important to provide the 911 operator with your location or stay on that phone long enough for them to try and triangulate the whereabouts of the call.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Though Robinson said there is no way of knowing how many cell phones there are in Clark County, he noted that, of the cell-phone 911 calls made, the percentage is split 50-50 among Phase I and Phase II calls.
    AT&T is Clark County’s service provider.
    According to an AT&T spokesperson, it is the carrier rather than the local 911 system that is equipped with the Phase I or Phase II technology but it is up to the local 911 agency to request the level of service. Spokesperson Anita Smith said that “all counties in Arkansas are Phase II compliant. [Having Phase I or Phase II capabilities] is determined by your carrier.”
    While most answers aren’t clear regarding the efficiency of the 911 system in regards to cell phone calls, the Federal Communications Commission’s website, www.fcc.gov, offers tips for those who call 911 from a cell phone.
    • First and foremost, cell phone users should begin the call by telling the emergency operator the location of the emergency.
    • Secondly, provide the operator with the wireless phone number, so if the call gets disconnected, the operator can call you back.
    • Do not rely on text messaging, photos or videos to communicate with a 911 operator; Public Safety Answering Points, which receive the information from wireless 911 callers, lack the capability to receive texts, photos or videos.
    • If your wireless phone is not “initialized,” meaning your do not have a contract for service with a wireless service provider, and your call gets disconnected, you must call the operator back because the operator does not have your telephone number and cannot contact you.
    • For a complete list of tips for calling 911 from a cell phone, visit www.fcc.gov/guides/wireless-911-services.
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