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RPD: 'No excuse' for response to pregnant woman's distress call

August 17, 2018 06:17 PM

ROCHESTER, NY (WHEC)  - Six months pregnant and in a dangerous situation, a Rochester woman waited nearly an hour for police to show up after calling 911.

On Thursday night around 10:30 p.m., an expected mom called 911 because of a domestic situation.

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“I’m telling them the situation, that I’m pregnant, that I need help. I need someone to come out as soon as possible,” she explained, asking News 10 NBC to conceal her identity. “At one point [the dispatcher] could hear him yelling in the background.”
However, no one came.

Nearly an hour later, she called 911 again asking why help wasn’t on its way.

“And the 911 responder, she said that it was shift change so they wasn’t able to get someone out right away.”

News 10 NBC pulled the call logs.

At 10:30 PM a dispatcher puts out a call for ‘family troubles’
At 11:19 PM another dispatcher puts out the call for a domestic, announcing the apartment number and saying ‘her boyfriend is physical’ followed by his name and ‘possibly been drinking.’
At 11:31 PM the dispatcher radioed out saying “she called back…wanted you to be advised to rush because she’s pregnant.”
So, what happened?

The Rochester Police Department tells us it has “reviewed the circumstances of the delayed response related to the domestic incident. The call was broadcast by the Emergency Communications Department prior to shift change and was not answered by an officer working that shift.  As a result of the call not being answered by an officer on the current shift that was working, the call held for an officer on the next shift, which resulted in the delay.”

“We take responsibility for this,” said Deputy Chief Scott Peters. He added, “there’s no excuse. Absolutely. That’s our job. To provide quality service, timely service. We take pride in the fact we do that for the large volume of calls we take.”RPD states, “The response time by the RPD in this incident is not the norm during shift change or any other time during a given shift.  The expectation is for RPD Patrol Supervisors to monitor activities such as radio traffic to ensure resources are adequately responding to calls for service when they are broadcast and adjust personnel resources accordingly.  

Department wide, supervisors will be reminded of the aforementioned expectation as it relates to monitoring calls for service and ensuring adequate service delivery.  Specific to this incident, Department Command within the section of occurrence has addressed the situation with the personnel involved.

Effective immediately, the Chief in collaboration with the Acting Director of the Emergency Communications Department have put forth directives to prevent this type of delay and response from occurring.”

RPD says no matter how quickly they generally respond to calls, it will never justify a tragedy.

“As with all calls for service, we expect our personnel to take / respond to all priority calls in an expeditious manner upon being broadcast / dispatched, provided there are no mitigating circumstances which would preclude such from occurring (e.g. other priorities / critical incidents drawing resources).  No matter how well we do generally in quickly responding to priority calls, it will not justify a tragedy occurring because of an unnecessary or unjustified delay in responding to a priority call involving a threat to life or safety.  The RPD will continue to work hard to deliver a level of service satisfactory to its customers.”
 

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Copyright 2018 - WHEC-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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