Concerns raised over 911 center

Concerns raised over 911 center

There are 25 comments on the GoErie.com story from Apr 9, 2009, titled Concerns raised over 911 center. In it, GoErie.com reports that:

Pittsburgh-area officials are calling for changes at Allegheny County's consolidated 911 dispatch center in the wake of an emergency call-taker's mistakes before the fatal shooting of three Pittsburgh police officers.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at GoErie.com.

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PaulR

Cleveland, OH

#1 Apr 9, 2009
AS with any new system, there will be glitches and mistakes. That is a fact of life. That does not mean the concept is fatally flawed.

As for the Pittsburgh incident, pending more facts I see a scapegoat being formed. Domestic disputes are often one of the more unpredictable and even dangerous calls because of the volatility of the situation. Police officers know that. As a police officer, I would always assume that weapons were present in any home. This is America. Americans own guns. That is a fact of life. Appropriate and reasonable precautions should always be taken. I for one would like to know much more about how the officers responded and how they apprroached the residence.

That being said.....The man wa slaying in wait. It was an ambush. I am not sure that anyone could have predicted, prepared for, or prevented the shootings from occurring.
BeckyKnapp

Stow, OH

#2 Apr 9, 2009
Another tragic case that ended badly due to mistakes by a Florida 911 Call Center was the murder of Denise Lee, a young mother of two who was abducted from her home by a lunatic and later killed. Two or three people called the 911 Center -- one woman called to report that there was "a child" screaming and banging on the window of a car she was driving along side. She gave a description of the car, which was the same vehicle police were on the lookout for. Unfortunately, the woman's call went in to the wrong call center in the next county -- and the two counties were not sharing information, even though it was extremely likely that the abductor had crossed into the adjacent county with Mrs. Lee in his car. Two other people also called to report something fishy -- one of them a cousin of the abductor, who had stopped at his relative's home to borrow a shovel, a gas can and other items he intended to use to murder and bury the woman; she was in the car yelling for help when he stopped at the cousin's.
The police had many opportunities to apprehend the suspect and rescue Mrs. Lee in the hour or two after her abduction -- but the mistakes of the 911 Center caused her to wind up dead and buried in a shallow grave in the woods.
Especially upsetting to her family was that Denise's dad was a Sheriff's deputy -- and one of the officers looking for her thst night.
Tragic all the way around, and the Call Center was NOT "a scapegoat," but the definitive factor that led to Denise's murder. If the Call Center had shared information with its sister Call Center, the 20something mother would be alive today.

“The Dirty "O”

Since: Mar 09

Larimer, PA

#3 Apr 9, 2009
There is plenty of blame to go around, don't kill the messenger, to blame the 911 operator is bull.
This is a well known address according to reports, a lot of police heard that call, including the
police shift supervisor, they monitor all calls and offer comments, support and control. Be ready for anything assume nothing. Are there guns in the house hell yes, this is 2009.R.I.P.
lakerman1

Erie, PA

#4 Apr 9, 2009
There is a difference between assuming that a gun might be present in a house, as the police respond to a call, and a real nutcase who is fighting with his mother, and whose mother calls 911 and warns the dispatcher of the guns. The dispatcher in the Pittsburgh case was either lazy or stupid, for not relaying the information to the responding officers. That is not scapegoating, that is a fact. And the conduct of the relatives and friends of the murderer in the Pittsburgh case is ridiculous.
For the People

United States

#5 Apr 9, 2009
Assuming the CALL TAKER would have provided the information that there were weapons at the house, I do believe the police approach the scene in a different way. But if that information is not given, how are the responders suppose to know. I do feel bad for the dispatcher, but it is the County's fault for allowing this type of gross negligence to continue. I have many friend and families in Pittsburgh and there have been numerous complaints made to the elected officials and those in charge of the 911 center. But to no avail. Now all of the sudden Change is a coming! Can't wait to see how much the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County are going to shell out for the lawsuit that is coming from the three families for GROSS NEGLIGENCE!
WOW

Erie, PA

#6 Apr 9, 2009
The issue at hand is if Erie County Dispatch can handle the dispatching in Erie. My opinion, NO!

It is true that with any new system there will be issues however the issues at hand are very avoidable. Erie County states there's 500 hours of training that each employee gets. Well, you can sit at a desk and give someone 500 hours of classroom training but that certainly DOES NOT mean that person can dispatch. It's a whole other ball game when you’re sitting in front of that console! I hear these dispatchers everyday and there are a very few that I trust being on the radio. I think its is sad on the County's part for hiring people with little to no experience and that's what they have done. The only reason being so they can "train them their way" well I don't think your way is working!

It is always hard when any public servant dies in the line of duty. This may have been avoided in the fact that any incident that could involve violence a good 911 operator would attempt to determine if any weapons are being used OR present if not being used. This is a standard info gathering question when dealing with a situation such as the one in Pittsburgh. If an answer cannot be determined then the officers responding should be told that it is unknown if weapons are involved. At that point the officers should use their judgment. I don't know if this was done or not but this is my opinion.
mrkihn

Hudson, OH

#7 Apr 9, 2009
PaulR wrote:
AS with any new system, there will be glitches and mistakes. That is a fact of life. That does not mean the concept is fatally flawed.
As for the Pittsburgh incident, pending more facts I see a scapegoat being formed. Domestic disputes are often one of the more unpredictable and even dangerous calls because of the volatility of the situation. Police officers know that. As a police officer, I would always assume that weapons were present in any home. This is America. Americans own guns. That is a fact of life. Appropriate and reasonable precautions should always be taken. I for one would like to know much more about how the officers responded and how they apprroached the residence.
That being said.....The man wa slaying in wait. It was an ambush. I am not sure that anyone could have predicted, prepared for, or prevented the shootings from occurring.
I can agree with statement.
Police and EMS workers are train to expect the worst. Domestic calls are dangerous and these 3 police officers might not have followed proper protocols dealing with the situation to begin with. They did know it was a domestic so right they should have been extra cautious, This might have prevented some of their demise .
Yes there where other mistakes done too with the dispatcher but let not put these fallen officer down for how they did their job but lets remember them for the job they did and losing their lives because the dedication to serve their community.
There is only one real person to blame for this and that is the F'in scum who shot them. The piece of chit should be dead already.
EBP

United States

#8 Apr 9, 2009
Funny how this "List" in the article is referred to as "gossip" This list is derived from all those involved in Public Safety across Erie County. This list has grow by the number of people sharing information. The "List" in reference as Weindorf stated as "gossip" is verified by a large number of public safety personnel. Meaning, those that were ON THE CALL, or through scanamerica.us as they ARCHIVE the tapes for up to seven days. If the call cannot be verified then it is not on the list. Doesn't matter that the County Officials feel that it is "gossip"! The most important thing is to note that they have been put on notice. The list is also in the hands of an attorney. So that when someone dies because of their GROSS NEGLIGANCE they cannot state that they were not informed of these problems. The ETN did a favor by printing this story. Now there is evidence in black and white that the County Officials have been served with problems and continue to operate at USUAL!

Since: Feb 08

Clarion, PA

#9 Apr 9, 2009
Mr Henderson you should be ashamed of yourself. Let the West County center stand for itself, and don't use a tragic situation (of which you know only some of the facts) to make your case.
worried

Cleveland, OH

#10 Apr 9, 2009
Gossip? Are you kidding me? What a joke... all you have to do is listen to them. What happens when an officer gets killed in the line of duty? Are they going to have another "talk" with the "telecommunicators"? This is an absolute JOKE!!!

Since: Mar 09

Stow, OH

#11 Apr 9, 2009
Hey Weindorf just keep pretending the problem doesn't exist. If you ignore it and divert attention maybe it will go away...
For the People

United States

#12 Apr 9, 2009
THANK YOU WSEE 35 for covering the problems with the new 911 dispatch center. Your story was very well done from both sides. Too bad the COE fire sources weren't willing to go on camera. Hats off to the Platea Boro Council person for going on camera to voice concerns. From the people who serve in public safety around the county and know what it going on, THANK YOU!
cleanair

Erie, PA

#13 Apr 9, 2009
Talk to someone on the EFD or EPD and get the real story on our new dispatch center. There have been numerous problems that have been covered up.
DoesntMatter

Pittsburgh, PA

#14 Apr 9, 2009
For the People wrote:
Assuming the CALL TAKER would have provided the information that there were weapons at the house, I do believe the police approach the scene in a different way. But if that information is not given, how are the responders suppose to know. I do feel bad for the dispatcher, but it is the County's fault for allowing this type of gross negligence to continue. I have many friend and families in Pittsburgh and there have been numerous complaints made to the elected officials and those in charge of the 911 center. But to no avail. Now all of the sudden Change is a coming! Can't wait to see how much the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County are going to shell out for the lawsuit that is coming from the three families for GROSS NEGLIGENCE!
Honestly, with how these officers were killed, I do not think it would have mattered if they knew or didn't know there were guns in the house. I think the only person to blame is the Poplawski family, stop blaming the call taker.
smokes

Girard, PA

#15 Apr 9, 2009
WOW wrote:
The issue at hand is if Erie County Dispatch can handle the dispatching in Erie. My opinion, NO!
It is true that with any new system there will be issues however the issues at hand are very avoidable. Erie County states there's 500 hours of training that each employee gets. Well, you can sit at a desk and give someone 500 hours of classroom training but that certainly DOES NOT mean that person can dispatch. It's a whole other ball game when you’re sitting in front of that console! I hear these dispatchers everyday and there are a very few that I trust being on the radio. I think its is sad on the County's part for hiring people with little to no experience and that's what they have done. The only reason being so they can "train them their way" well I don't think your way is working!
It is always hard when any public servant dies in the line of duty. This may have been avoided in the fact that any incident that could involve violence a good 911 operator would attempt to determine if any weapons are being used OR present if not being used. This is a standard info gathering question when dealing with a situation such as the one in Pittsburgh. If an answer cannot be determined then the officers responding should be told that it is unknown if weapons are involved. At that point the officers should use their judgment. I don't know if this was done or not but this is my opinion.
There was ample opportunity for the "experienced" Dispatchers to apply for these county positions. The problem being they did not want to take a pay cut and for the few that did apply-some couldn't pass the national standards testing that was done...
Change is hard...but it is positive as well. The system is an improvement and upgrade. Give the system a chance to work. Sure there are flaws and hopefully they are being worked out. The old 'mom and pop' little operations are a thing of the past.
concerned

Erie, PA

#16 Apr 9, 2009
DoesntMatter wrote:
<quoted text>
Honestly, with how these officers were killed, I do not think it would have mattered if they knew or didn't know there were guns in the house. I think the only person to blame is the Poplawski family, stop blaming the call taker.
Are you serious with this statement. It does matter if the dispatcher did not tell the police officers. It might not have changed the outcome but then again we will never know because there was information that was not properly relayed to the police officers. I have to say that smallest of details could change the way an officer responds to a call. When you don't give the information that is important then you open yourself up to lawsuits. The person should be fired. This job is not like a bunch of paper pushers that can say "oops forgot to send out that email or memo, I can do it tomorrow." As you can see there is no tomorrow for those fallen officers.
concerned

Erie, PA

#17 Apr 9, 2009
smokes wrote:
<quoted text>
There was ample opportunity for the "experienced" Dispatchers to apply for these county positions. The problem being they did not want to take a pay cut and for the few that did apply-some couldn't pass the national standards testing that was done...
Change is hard...but it is positive as well. The system is an improvement and upgrade. Give the system a chance to work. Sure there are flaws and hopefully they are being worked out. The old 'mom and pop' little operations are a thing of the past.
Did you know what the county was offering when the jobs were available?$8-$9 an hour. Now or is it by next year they will be paying the dispatchers $12.and some change. I was making that kind of money in 1995 in a retail job at the mall. That is not a fair wage for a dispatcher. Second, if you can give names on the people that applied from the city and couldn't pass the test- let me know. I don't know of any city dispatchers that attempted to apply up there. Also, those that were dispatching for the city were never told how many jobs the city was retaining to do the nonemergency. The chief nor the mayor's office would give a final number to any employees- it was discovered in the budget meeting in December. I would have to say that most of the jobs at the county were already filled. So, for some, it was worth the gamble to say at the city and keep your seniority,vacation,sick, pension and pay.
Replace Weindork NOW

Fort Mill, SC

#18 Apr 9, 2009
Tony from Erie wrote:
Hey Weindorf just keep pretending the problem doesn't exist. If you ignore it and divert attention maybe it will go away...
Couldn't have said it any better. Thank goodness for the web. Even 500 miles away I can watch Weindorks smirk that this happens all the time.

No it doesn't New is not and excuse lack of leadership is and it starts with that Pizza Delivery guy that runs the county and his way out of touch Public Safety Director.

Dial 911 in Erie County as a last resort.

“The Dirty "O”

Since: Mar 09

Larimer, PA

#19 Apr 9, 2009
The changes in the 911 system are simply to asked more questions, on a new questionnaire.
Then the call taker will pass the information on to the police dispatcher. genius
For the People

United States

#20 Apr 10, 2009
cleanair wrote:
Talk to someone on the EFD or EPD and get the real story on our new dispatch center. There have been numerous problems that have been covered up.
That is never going to happen! A gag order to the unions of the COE fire and police. And we all know that the press wont' cover anything from the average person....nope! my house could be burning down. I could call them and give them a step by step process of what is happening. But they won't believe me...Nope they will have to go to Weindorf to verify the information as accurate. What a joke! It's not the corporations that have ruined the country, as I have thought. No, it is the arrogance and power trips of the elected officials in both the local, state and federal governments. They have sold their souls to the devil. See you in hell!

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