Yet another reason not to rely on 911

Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. will recommend that a sheriff’s dispatcher be fired for hanging up on a woman who had called 911 while she was being beaten by her boyfriend, according to a news release issued by the sheriff’s office Thursday.

Clarke said in the release that dispatchers are trained to deal with chaotic calls.

“The experienced dispatcher should have known that you don’t hang up on people because they are unable to articulate the kind of help they need,” Clarke said in the release. –

Partial audio here. The call ends with the dispatcher telling the frightened woman “Call back when you’re going to talk to me.”

I don’t want to impugn the many good people working in the dispatch centers, but these kinds of things happen. And even when the police are dispatched, they are at best minutes away in a situation where seconds count. So, take responsibility for your own safety.


Yet another reason not to rely on 911 — 1 Comment

  1. This is unfortunately common. I called 911 the other day from my gun shop. I had an 18 year-old Hispanic kid in there trying to buy a handgun. He was acting quite strange and would not accept the “no – you’re too young answer I gave him.” He left the store momentarily to get something from his truck, so I called the police. He entered the store again before 911 was even answered. When on the line (and with the kid right in front of me) I tried to get the dispatcher to get the hint that i wanted police immediately. He was getting a bit peeved that I would not give him exact details of why I wanted them (I did not want to cause an incident with this kid any more than was necessary). Unfortunately, the kid became suspicious and really started acting strange, so I told 911 “Get here – I’ve got him at gun point.” and hung up. True to my word, I put the kid at gun point, ordered him to assume the position and waited for the cops. 30 seconds later, they were there. They were quite understanding and assured me they would speak to the dispatcher regarding the situation. Granted, I had a very successful resolution to my problem. Imagine how bad it could have been if the kid had been armed and I would have had to fire on him!

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