911 Call(S) On Hold? +911 Dispatch Mistakes?
- Dee, I had a similar disturbing experience with 911 recently.
DC's 911's Office of Unified Communications was anything BUT 'UNIFIED" in my experience, requiring an accurate police-related timely response. On a seemingly quiet weeknight, I was immediately put on hold by 911 for a very long time. Indeed, I was grateful I was not reporting a heart attack, stoke or some trauma where minutes can be the difference between life and death.
Then, without any address verification by the 911 operator, said operator apparently dispatched 504 MPD officers to the wrong address. Sheesh!
MPD commands should be proactive in following up on these police-related 911/OUC complaints. DC residents deserve straight answers to their questions. Mayor Gray and the Council ought to get an immediate heads-up, as well.
No one in our city's government should need any reminders of the importance of an essential "life and death" city service-- especially when it is making incompetent mistakes in the handling of elementary caller information.
(5 Sep, AM)
--- In MPD-5D@yahoogroups.com, "Dee" <djlhutch@...> wrote:
Good Morning Commander,
Last night around 8:05 pm, as the children and teens played on the tennis courts
at Turkey Thicket located at 10th and Michigan NE, I along with several of the
parents heard several rapid fires of gunshots. One of the parents dialed 911
and reported the shooting. As a police car had not arrived within the first ten
minutes of the original call, the parent attempted another 911 call. The call
went directly to a voice message in English and then repeated in Spanish. The
individual was placed on hold for sometime before I used my cell phone to call
911. My call also went directly to a voice message and then hold mode.
Eventually, the other parent's call was answered and I overheard a heated debate
between her and the dispatcher as to why no police had responded to her original
call and were they real gun shots, or not.
Based on this personal observation, I was left with an uneasy feeling
regarding the dispatching of emergency services.
Therefore, I hope you can answer a few questions:
First, at what point does a 911 operator deem a call a non-emergency
before a unit is dispatched, as I think a reasonable person would consider gun
shots a high priority. Second, was the volume of emergency responses extremely
high last night, and as such, dispatching was overwhelmed to the point that
emergency calls should have been appropriately sidetracked to voice mail. And
third, during the ebbs of crime fighting and policing, is it possible that MPD
can have a unit to frequent Turkey Thicket and other recreational parks. Drive
throughs would be greatly appreciated by most, if not all parents. The reefer
smoking, crap shooting, gun handling is not conducive to enjoying our public
parks. With MPD's help, hopefully we can take them back.