Central California law enforcement impacted by Verizon outage

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A massive cell service outage impacted mostly Verizon Wireless customers struck Wednesday afternoon.

The lapse in service affected customers from Seattle to San Diego and to the east, Las Vegas, Denver and as far as New York City.

Most police and sheriff's departments in Central California were impacted in some way.

For Clovis Police, it meant officers and dispatchers could not call one another on their cell phones, but people were still able to call 911.

"Luckily, we do still have a radio system that we can still communicate," says Clovis police PIO Ty Wood. "It does take some getting used to because we're so used to having our cell phones in our hand or pocket readily available."

In Madera and Mariposa counties, people needing emergency service were limited to texting 911.

Fresno and Clovis police non-emergency lines could only be reached by calling from a landline, but officers say that did not stop them from doing their work.

"A lot of us have lived and worked in an era before cell phones," Wood said. "Just like our computer system being down, we have a back-up system for that -- we're still ready to serve."

Wednesday night, Verizon says its engineers were able to identify and fix the issue and cell service was restored to the affected areas.

Throughout the day, most people online said they were able to send text messages but not make any phone calls.

Verizon says any customer still having issues should restart their phone.
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