Thursday, November 6, 2008

911 center screwed up a second murder call

For the second time this year, the Dane County, Wisconsin 911 Center neglected to dispatch police officers in a timely manner before a homicide.

According to a statement released by the Dane County Public Safety Communications, two noise complaint phone calls were received on the Public Safety Communication’s non-emergency line at 9:18 p.m. and 9:34 p.m.

Police were not sent to the scene until approximately 11 p.m. after receiving an emergency call from a cellphone reporting a dead body. The body was identified as Mark Gregory Johnson.

“The call was called at a non-emergency number but the 911 Center did pick up the telephone and process the call, but they didn’t follow the procedures as they should have,” said Alderman Larry Palm.

Last spring, the 911 Center was under fire for the mishandling of a phone call from University of Wisconsin junior Brittany Zimmermann’s phone on the day of her murder.

In September, then-911 Center Director Joe Norwick resigned from his position, and the center is still seeking a full-time replacement.

Palm said there were an ample number of officers on duty the evening of Nov. 3 when the calls were received indicating excessive noise and escalating violence. During both noise complaint calls, the 911 dispatcher agreed to send police to the scene of the incident.

“The irony is that the new policy adapted by the 911 Board wasn’t followed,” Palm said. “The first call is logged, and (after) the second call, police are dispatched. It is ironic that for both phone calls, the police said they would respond. Clearly, the management understands the incredible pressure at this moment,” Palm said. “They have clearly not been able to reform underlying issues.” (info from The Badger Herald)

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