We turn to 911 when there's an emergency. Often counting on those taking calls to help save lives. But chief investigator Darcy Spears discovered one 911 dispatcher who put lives at risk when he got behind the wheel.
The screens light up at Henderson's 911 call center with people in need of emergency assistance. They reach out via phone and text, counting on alert operators.
In the city of Henderson, emergency dispatchers are called communications operators. They work for the Henderson Police Department, handling 911 calls for EMS, fire, and police.
The 911 job description calls for "highly professional people with strong decision-making capabilities." One of the people doing that job is Aaron Moulton.
On Oct. 14, citizens called 911 just after 5:30 a.m. and Las Vegas police responded to find Moulton's SUV in the travel lane at Harmon Avenue and Koval Lane. Police records show Moulton was passed out at the wheel. His foot was on the brake but the vehicle was on and in drive.
Officers repeatedly knocked on the glass and yelled to wake Moulton up. The report says when police asked for his license, registration and insurance, Moulton presented a pack of gum. Officers noticed a strong odor of alcohol and he was arrested and charged with DUI.
Sandy Heverly of Stop DUI works closely with law enforcement. We spoke to her when we began investigating cases of Henderson police officers caught driving under the influence. The story came from cops blowing the whistle on their peers, concerned that cases were being swept under the rug with little accountability.
"When you have officers who disrespect their fellow officers by breaking the law, who disrespect the oath that they took to serve and protect and become the perpetrators that they're supposed to be protecting us from, it's very disturbing," Heverly said.
Our investigation has identified six Henderson Police Department employees caught driving under the influence. 911 dispatcher Moulton and five cops including officers, sergeants and a former police spokesman. All but one still work for the department and two were promoted after being convicted.
"I expect, I will tell you, high levels of integrity." That's what Henderson Police Chief Watson told us when asked about holding employees accountable.
Moulton was arrested one month before Chief Watson was sworn in. He didn't return our call for comment. In court, he pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor DUI and is scheduled for trial September 13.
Of the other five, only Todd Rasmussen's arrest was on Chief Watson's watch. The former department spokesman crashed his personal car into a light pole, causing thousands of dollars in damage to taxpayers. He pleaded not guilty to charges of failure to maintain lane and misdemeanor DUI. He's on paid leave pending trial on Nov. 8 and has also declined comment for this story.