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Murder of 911 dispatcher tough on co-workers

The murder occurred in the 4400 Block of Jeanne Marie Place in Gentilly. The murder occurred in the 4400 Block of Jeanne Marie Place in Gentilly.

New Orleans, La. - Dispatchers who take calls for the city's first responders have access to chaplains and grief counselors in the wake of the murder of one of their own Wednesday night.

NOPD 911 dispatcher Christine George worked at the Orleans Parish Communications District Headquarters on City Park Avenue. Now her colleagues, trained to handle calls from the public about crises, are themselves trying to cope with her murder and that of two of her adult children.

"This obviously impacts all the employees because that's a very small group of people," said Col. Terry Ebbert (Ret.), who chairs the board of the Orleans Parish Communications District.

Ebbert said all of the dispatchers know each other, given their work environment.  "These people come to work every day, sit two feet away from each other for hours under a high pressure situation, helping each other, so they're a very tight knit close group. So an impact of losing one of their team members impacts the whole organization," he said.

Ebbert said chaplains from the police, fire and EMS departments were brought in to help workers deal with the shock of the horrific crime.

"We've set aside a space for counseling and quiet times, for some of them just to sit in silence and get away from the noise and the hubbub of the routine they're in, and work with them individually as well as a group," he said.

George's relatives knew she was close to her co-workers.

"For her job to get a 911 call on her, I couldn't even imagine what they felt and I'm pretty sure it knocked them on the floor… Those people have really talked highly about her," said George's brother, Patrick Preston.

"I'd met her and she's been an [NOPD] employee for a number of years," said Ebbert.

Ebbert said the Gentilly triple murder is not the only tragedy the family of workers at the OPCD headquarters has been forced to deal with in recent days.

"Really impacts us because we lost an employee earlier this week in a traffic accident," stated Ebbert.

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