Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hang On, I'll Be Right There!

I was listening to the scanner, following the response to a robbery involving a shooting.  Units were dispatched to the victim and the attacker's description was released.  Someone else calls in with a description of a vehicle driving quickly and erratically.  Units are dispatched to that location since the description of that vehicle matches the description of the vehicle involved in the robbery.  The police receive more information that the suspects in the vehicle have left and are running away.

Scramble the jets!  More units are dispatched to set up a perimeter.

In the meantime, another call comes in.

Dispatcher:  General broadcast for a violent domestic on 1234 Residential Street.

Units dispatched to the robbery call begin to check in.  A perimeter is set up and there is a lot of radio communication.

Four minutes go by.  Then,

Officer:  Radio, 232

Dispatch:  232, I need you to respond to a violent domestic disturbance on 1234 Residential Street.  Female called and said her boyfriend is hitting her.  Call taker could hear screaming in the background and then the line went dead.  No answer on call back.

Officer:  232, Copy.  Show me en route.


4 minutes, huh...?

1.  A robbery victim is shot.  By the time the police are called, the crime is over.  Now everyone is just reacting.
2.  A woman is a victim of a violent domestic attack.  She has managed to call police, but while she is struggling, for at least four minutes, none of the responders has even started to respond.

You know, I don't intend this as a rant against police officers, dispatchers, etc...  I am merely pointing out that we cannot simply and blindly rely on the police to protect us.  In this day and age, and in our society, their hands are full as it is.  We must always be vigilant and take responsibility for our own protection.  The police may be tied up with a higher priority call, or they may simply be trying to get there as fast as they can.  Either way, the first line of self defense begins with us.