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911 Call(S) On Hold? +911 Dispatch Mistakes?

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  • brian.ions
    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,
    Message 1 of 9 , Sep 5, 2012
      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.

      PSA 504
      (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.

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