Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Just in Time

I've got the scanner running in the background, when I hear of a local store being robbed.  Not that the store has been robbed, but that it is being robbed.

From what I gather, the call is made by a witness in the parking lot.  She is in her car and can see inside the store.  She saw the suspect walk in and herd the employees toward the back.  At that point, she lost sight of them.  She continues to give the call-taker details, which are then relayed to the dispatcher.  The scanner broadcasts the conversation between the dispatcher and the now large group of officers responding.  So, if you're keeping track, I'm getting everything about a beat or two behind.  The witness still has eyes on the front of the store.

Eventually, about four minutes later, the first officer announces arrival on scene.  Shortly thereafter, there's transmission after transmission of other officers arriving at the store.  One of them reaches the witness who called, and continues to update everyone else.  From the radio traffic, I gather that they enter the store and began to clear it aisle by aisle.  They release the K9 and he (she?) bounds for the back.  Police converge on the spot and are able to free the employees.  It sounds like there's two of them. 

The suspect is nowhere to be found.

Now, I'm listening to calls for detectives, more assistance, etc...

Let's review:  The one eyewitness has observed everything from the beginning.  She has seen no one come out the front door.  It has taken police at least four minutes to respond, but note that, first, the call had to be made, then, the call-taker had to take down information, then the call-taker had to notify dispatch, which then notified the officers.  They arrived about four minutes after word came out through dispatch.

Once they got there, the suspect was gone.

Even if the call comes out while the crime is in progress, most of the time, the police will arrive just in time to take names and pictures.  That's not a slam on police, it's the nature of the beast.  They very well  may be on the other side of town when evil comes to visit.

Take responsibility for your own safety.

1 comment:

Rev. Paul said...

Just as you say; that's a good object lesson. Thanks.