GREENSBORO, N.C. — May 12, 2018, remains a dark day in the city of Greensboro. A fire broke out in an apartment complex early in the morning, ultimately killing five children who were part of a family of refugees from the Congo.
Jeri Phillips, a 911 dispatcher in the city for the last six years, remembers it well.
“My best friend took that call and talked to that person and I love her and I know it just broke her heart. It breaks my heart just to talk about it,” she says.
Through her grief, she was determined to make it easier for people in her line of work to interact with non-English-speakers.
“They don’t know they can call. They don’t know that we can get an interpreter that speaks their language,” she says, adding, “(Some of them are) coming from countries where the police are bad. The police are the people they’re trying to get away from. So they don’t know the police are somebody that they can reach out to.” … READ MORE