Thursday, May 22, 2008

To Serve and Protect?

Oh, dear...Have our Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) gone off the deep end? Is this now policy to NOT DO THEIR BLOODY JOBS?!?

Read on, dear readers...

911 Operator Resigns In Face Of Criticism

Posted: Feb 11, 2008 08:06 PM EST

The 911 dispatcher who took the frantic call from kidnap victim Adrian Jaimes' sister last week -- and was criticized for his curt manner with the child -- resigned his job on Monday.

Dispatcher Victor Cervantes was a 22-year veteran of the job. Zuleima Jaimes, 10, called 911 and spoke with Cervantes after her brother, Adrian Jaimes, was snatched out of the family car.

Police Chief Art Acevedo expressed concerns with the way Cervantes dealt with Zuleima on the phone when he briefed the media on the Amber Alert to find Adrian Jaimes.

Here is a partial transcript of what was said between Cervantes and Jaimes:

Jaimes: "We were going to school and a man opened the door and took my brother."

Cervantes: "He took your brother?"

Jaimes: "Yes."

Cervantes: "Let me talk to someone else, I can't understand what you're saying. Who took him, that's what I want to know."

Jaimes: "I don't know. They just took him."

Cervantes: "Quit crying, because I can't understand you. The more you cry, the less I hear what you're saying."

"It was time for him to move on and that he realized he did not come across as very professional or very sympathetic," said Assistant Police Chief Leo Enriquez of Cervantes.

Enriquez said Cervantes had done his job by dispatching a patrol unit to the scene while talking to the 10-year-old, but he added the victim had already been traumatized and did not deserve to be spoken to in that manner.

"We are going to look at the training that the dispatchers receive and see if we can upgrade that a little bit," Enriquez said.

Enriquez said he believed Cervantes had been reprimanded in the past for his job performance.

Okay...story number two:

911 Operator Errors During Double Murder Call

There's a new investigation connected to a double murder that took place in South Bexar County Sunday night, and a 911 dispatcher is at the center of it.

The Bexar County Sheriff's Department is questioning how the dispatcher handled the first calls for help from the scene of the murder. Administrators said it appears the dispatcher didn't follow procedures while handling the call.

News 4 obtained a copy of the 911 tape. The first 911 call from a bloody murder scene in Von Ormy lasted 6 minutes and and 45 seconds. Investigators said the dispatcher got the address wrong, among other things.

Dispatcher: "Bexar County Sheriff's Office."

Caller: "Yes ma'am, we need a police officer and ambulance out here to 14081 IH 35 South #3."

Dispatcher: "140-what, sir?"

Caller: "081 IH-35 South."

The 911 call for help came from a man at the Las Penitas Mobile Home Park, who described himself as the manager's son. The man told the dispatcher the home of Jose and Esmeralda Herrera was a bloody scene.

Caller: "I think these two people, they were murdered. I don't know if they are dead or not."

Dispatcher: "Okay, sir. Hold on. You need to calm down a bit. Okay?"

The man had already given the dispatcher the couple's address twice, but a 1 minute and 22 seconds into the call...

Dispatcher: "What's the address again?"

Caller: "It's 14081 IH-35 South #3."

It was the 3rd time the dispatcher was heard asking for the address of the Herrera's, who had both been stabbed with a hunting knife more than 25 times.

Dispatcher: "Just hang on with me. Don't hang up. Okay?"

Soon after a minute of dead air, the dispatcher tells the South Bexar County caller, she needs to call a city dispatcher for help. The dispatcher then rings the San Antonio emergency system.

S.A. Dispatcher: "San Antonio Police. Can I help you?"

Bexar Co. Dispatcher: "I have a caller on the line whose address is 4081 IH 35 South Apartment 3."

S.A. Dispatcher: "4081? That's not even a correct address."

Bexar Co. Dispatcher: "That's the address he gave me. 4081."

S.A. Dispatcher: "Is he on the line?"

Bexar Co. Dispatcher: "I'll put him on the line."

S.A. Dispatcher: "Thank you."

Bexar County investigators told News 4 they are disturbed about how the dispatcher handled the call.

Administrators said the 911 dispatcher sent emergency crews to the wrong address and was too slow and incorrect in gathering information from the caller.

"Quite frankly we were all a little disturbed on the response of that call. We can't tolerate that. It's very important when we get the call. We have to get the response to the people, to the public as soon as possible," said Chief Ronald Bennett of the Bexar County Sheriff's Department.

Bexar County investigators want to get the dispatcher's side of the incident. Chief Bennett told News 4 the operator will be interviewed by her supervisors as soon as she reports to work Tuesday night.

Other Dispatchers Disciplined
This is not the first time a dispatcher has been in trouble for not doing his or her job. The Trouble Shooters investigated disciplined dispatchers, and what they found was also disturbing.

The Trouble Shooters reviewed disciplinary records for dispatcher from several 911 call centers in our area. Incidents including dispatchers not sending an officer to an emergency call, a dispatcher falling asleep on duty, and another hanging up on someone to take a personal call.

But probably the most alarming case involved a home invasion with children home alone. That dispatcher told the officer it was a low priority call, and it took over an hour for them to arrive. The kids' mother was angry at the slow response.

"Apparently to them it wasn't important. It wasn't their kids," said the mom. "If you kids are alone, someone is breaking in and they're inside and the police cannot respond to that as an emergency. What is considered an emergency?"

That mom believed the dispatcher should have been fired. But the dispatcher is still handling 9-1-1 calls. Her punishment was a written reprimand.

If you have a problem with a dispatcher, you should put your complaint in writing to their supervisor.

Story number three:

911 Operators Refused Aid to Woman Left to Die
Posted on Friday, November 02 @ 19:23:28 PDT

LOS ANGELES — New 911 tapes released Tuesday reveal that dispatchers refused to send help to a woman ignored by hospital staff as she lay dying on the floor of a Los Angeles emergency room.

Edith Isabel Rodriguez, 43, died after dispatchers on two 911 calls refused to contact paramedics or an ambulance to send her to another facility, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday. The second dispatcher went so far as to argue with the caller over whether it was a real emergency.

Rodriguez died of a perforated bowel on May 9 at Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital. Her death was ruled accidental by the Los Angeles County coroner's office.

In the calls — posted after they were released by the county Sheriff's Department under the newspaper's California Public Records Act request — callers plead for help for the woman left bleeding from the mouth and writhing in pain for 45 minutes on the hospital's floor.

"I'm in the emergency room. My wife is dying and the nurses don't want to help her out," he said in Spanish through an interpreter.

"What's wrong with her?" a dispatcher asked.

"She's vomiting blood," Prado said.

"OK, and why aren't they helping her?" the dispatcher asked.

"They're watching her there and they're not doing anything. They're just watching her," Prado said.

The dispatcher told the man to contact a doctor and then said paramedics won't pick up his wife because she already was in a hospital. Later, she told Prado to contact county police officers at a security desk.

Experts have said Rodriguez could have survived had she been treated early enough. The head of the county's Department of Health Services, which oversees the facility, has called her death "inexcusable."

A second 911 call was placed eight minutes later by a woman bystander who requested that an ambulance be sent to take Rodriguez to some other hospital for care.

"She's definitely sick and there's a guy that's ignoring her," the woman told a different dispatcher.

During the brief call, the dispatcher argued with the woman over whether there really was an emergency.

"I cannot do anything for you for the quality of the hospital. ... It is not an emergency. It is not an emergency, ma'am," he said.

"You're not here to see how they're treating her," the woman replied.
The dispatcher refused to call paramedics and told the woman that she should contact hospital supervisors "and let them know" if she is unhappy.

"May God strike you, too, for acting the way you just acted," the woman said finally.

"No, negative ma'am, you're the one," he said.

"What's real confusing … was that she was at a medical facility," Sheriff's Capt. Steven M. Roller, who is in charge of the Century Station, which handled the calls, told the Times. "That poses some real quandaries."

Roller told the Times that the second dispatcher's tone was inappropriate.

"As a station commander, I don't like any of my employees getting rude or nasty with any caller, regardless, and in that particular case, obviously, the employee's conduct could have been better," Roller said, telling the Times the employee received written "counseling."

Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital formerly was known as Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center. The name was changed as part of a reorganization after years of problems including patient deaths blamed on sloppy nursing care and hospital mismanagement that has threatened its federal funding. the story that begat this posting:

911 dispatcher gets pink slip after cursing caller

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (AP) -- A Nashville, Tennessee, 911 operator has been fired after he was recorded saying that he didn't "give a s---" about what happened to a woman who had just called to report her ex-boyfriend was threatening her.

Emergency Communications Center spokeswoman Amanda Sluss said Wednesday that Frank Roth was in training during the February incident and was fired a month later.

Roth made the comments after promising police would arrive soon for a woman who called saying her ex-boyfriend held her at knifepoint and later was threatening her.

After hanging up with her but while still being recorded, he said, "I really don't give a s--- what happens to you."

Sluss says the incident is not reflective of how 911 operators treat callers and that "a series of errors" led to the delay in response to Sheila Jones.

"Certainly this particular caller didn't receive the service she deserved," Sluss said. "This is not indicative of how our employees treat citizens. It's not something that should have been said. It's not what we train our employees to do."

It took police three hours to reach the scene after the first call.

Nashville TV station WTVF first reported the story after one of its reporters obtained the 911 recording.

Will you all agree with me that this is a very disturbing trend?

This is why the Second Amendment is important. Remember that...

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