Monday, February 24, 2014

FALL GUY: City Blames Dispatcher For Slow Response Time; No Mention Of District Being In RAP Status

Thrown under the bus. It's the Chicago way.
Hey, dispatcher. How 'bout checking the axles while you're under that bus?

The city very quickly found the fall guy for that 20+ minute response time to a robbery near Mayor Rahm Emanuel's house Saturday afternoon.

As CWB reported yesterday, the response was delayed largely due to the fact that the district was in Radio Assignment Pending status, meaning that no officers were available to handle the call.

So, who's taking the fall?

No, it won't be the politicians who've allowed our district to lose 26% of its police officers over the past two years.

Instead, according to a post on Everyblock, 47th ward alderman Ameya Pawar's office says it's the dispatcher's fault.
At this point, it seems that the original call came into 911 at 3:21pm. The dispatcher failed to give that call to the police. Instead, police were not dispatched until 3:31pm. At that time, an officer answered the call and responded to the area to look for the offenders. After completing a search, the officer arrived on the scene at 3:48pm. 
The OEMC dispatcher has had a complaint filed against them and disciplinary procedures are in progress to ascertain what happened with the dispatch. 
No mention of being in RAP status, eh?

Well, the good folks of Ravenwood have now received the happy answer they were looking for - that the district couldn't possibly have run out of officers. (Even though a 19th district sergeant confirmed that the RAP was still in effect less than 10 minutes before the robbery and the RAP wasn't closed out until 6:36PM.) It was a dispatch error. Done and done!

That's probably the answer Alderman Pawar would like everyone to go way with, too. After all, he sold his constituents a bill of goods by supporting the merger of the 19th and 23rd districts, telling them in October 2011,
“We’ve been reassured that merging districts is going to put more officers on the beat. So that’s a good thing.” 
As CWB readers know, that's a crock of hooey, as the merged district has shed a quarter of its strength since the merger.

Now, would anyone in Ravenswood like to ask the obvious, uncomfortable question? If there were more officers available, why did only one car respond?

For comparison, someone at Hermitage and Montrose called 911 this afternoon to report a tanker truck got stuck in their alley. Three cars went.


  1. Okay so now we can start to here about the mismanagement at OEMC? How about that 17 minutes to get the officer there. "so that's a good thing" too? But hey everyone, look over here - Jimmy Fallen is coming to town!

  2. 3:21 p.m. and your district is in a rap? You do need more cops. Lazy ass tac teams. I wonder if the call taker heard the word bleach in the phone call.

  3. Believe me, OEMC leaves a lot to be desired. I have doubt we were in RAP and I also don't doubt that between the operator who took the call and the dispatcher, something fell through the cracks. Many times when citizens complain about slow response time the reason is we weren't dispatched. Citizens don't hear that though because the powers that be want the police blamed. In this case, they didn't want Tiny Dancer blamed, but knew they couldn't blame the police as the finger would be pointed back at them.

  4. Pick up the phone - or just email - the alderman with your concerns about the dispatcher taking the brunt of discipline for a major faux pas - the merger - that the city council approved. I'll be making my cal about 9am or so when the office opens. These people work for us. About time they started earning their salary.

  5. Please don't upset the Mayor. Or else we won't have some of the Transformers movie shot here.

  6. Too bad we couldn't get that money for cops instead of the digital hub. Just hire more police and be down with it.

  7. I dont know what happened or whos fault it was. But i will tell u that your emergency dispatchers are even more short handed than your police dept. The leaders of this city are destroying it and blaming others. My advice? Leave. Not only the city but this state.

  8. The dispatcher or responding officers are not to blame in this incident. The blame falls solely on the call taker who took the first 911 call. The first call was never sent over to dispatch, it was classified as NPS (no police service). The second call that came into the call center but the first call sent over to dispatch was given out less then a minute after the zone received it. I hate to see misinformation spreading like wildfire regarding this matter. And I hate to throw the call taker under the bus. However, he/she really dropped the ball with how they handled this call!