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Detroit's Pokey 911 Dispatchers May Face Charges

Woman shot; another stabbed to death amid slow response times
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Sep 5, 2013 4:07 AM CDT
Updated Sep 5, 2013 5:40 AM CDT

(Newser) – Detroit 911 dispatchers were slow to send cops during two recent emergencies that ended in tragedy; now, police are mulling criminal charges for the dispatchers. Last week, a woman called 911 multiple times as an argument turned dangerous, her mother says. Police say there were six calls in total; it took more than an hour for the dispatcher to reassign cops to the case, though it was a "priority one" call, police chief James Craig says. As the woman waited on the porch for police, she was shot in the chest, her mother says.

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She remains in the hospital. "I want the dispatchers to take their jobs more serious," her mother tells the Detroit Free Press. Separately, in May, a dispatcher reportedly took 90 minutes to direct police to a stabbing that resulted in a woman's death. Slow police response times for "priority one" calls are, unfortunately, nothing new in Detroit, as Boston's mayor less than subtly pointed out: They average about 58 minutes, says an emergencies official (though, police note, "priority one" doesn't always mean a life is in danger; such situations often have quicker response times, officials say). Still, "status quo, complacency, mediocrity will not be tolerated," says Craig. (Read more Detroit stories.)

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