Wednesday, February 22, 2006

from the MPD-5D listserve

i have had similar problems with 311 and 911 concerning incidents ON north capitol. It's ON NORTH CAPITOL STREET, it doesn't matter! the cops can see 20 feet cant they? i hear now that there will be separate officers for the nw and ne sections of 5d. great.
anyway here's the post from the listserve:

Yesterday afternoon while driving hoem from work along NY Avenue (5:25 pm), I witnessed a teenager carrying a handgun in and then proceed to reach into another guy's pocket and take a round out and proceed to load the handgun ... and then walk towards the crowd of people standing in front of Big Ben.

As soon I realized that he was loading the handgun, I called 911 to report the incident to get some police there ASAP.

So much for that......

When I called to report the incident, the dispatcher who answered the phone proceeded to argue with me on my location. I had told her that I was at the corner of NY Avenue and N. Capitol Street at Big Ben. She said she had no such address for Big Ben. She asked again where I was located and I told her NY Avenue and N. Capitol Street NW. She said there is no Big Ben there. She said are you sure it's NW and not NE? I said no, it's NW. She said look up at the street sign and tell me what it says ... by this time, I had traveled from NY Avenue and N. Capitol Street to NY Avenue and 1St NW (anyone who knows how slow traffic moves there in the afternoon now knows how long it took her to get to this question). I said it says NW. I live just a few blocks from here and it's NW.

Here is this kid with a handgun and she says she can't dispatch the police with out the correct address -- if it's not in her system, then she can't dispatch them.

She finally locates the address by using NE instead of NW ..... although the incident is clearly happening at the NW corner of NY Avenue and N. Capitol Street at the Big Ben. By the time she locates it, she says, that once she located the address, she found that police had already been dispatched to the area and should be there shortly. When she found the location, I was already at NY Avenue and NJ Avenue ... again you now how slow traffic moves along NY Avenue - precious time was lost

She was given a description of the kid with the handgun and his accomplice with the round in his pockets, the EXACT location that the incident was occurring at --- but "it isn't in my system" was the response I got back.

So, MPD, how many innocent people were shot yesterday afternoon because "it wasn't in the system"?


Anonymous said...

Life is easier when you can blame everything on a computer system.

Anonymous said...

Your problem is with the dispatcher, who is a cicilian employee of the city genius, not the police department. Are you honestly trying to assign blame to the police for a not responding to a call that wasn't dispatched? It must be nice to sit in judgement of others as you drive past and away from danger. How many people were arrested that day and did you have a part in arresting them or were you at home typing your criticisms?

Sean Hennessey said...

anon 2:49 pm.
1. the italicized words are from a listserve. not my words.
2. the problem stated was with the 911 system of geo-location, not the mpd. if you've not had that issue while dialing 911 in DC, more power to you, but there are indeed issues that could be improved.