ODA 226 wrote:Dan,
It is the responsibility of the DISPATCHER to determine if a crime is currently being committed and if there is a JUSTIFIABLE CAUSE to send a Deputy to the caller's location. If a crime is NOT in progress, the dispatcher has the RESPONSIBILITY NOT to send a Deputy to that call.
Concur, and in a perfect world this screening would work 100% of the time. I think there is a difference between what you originally said and your example, though. An officer that is dispatched has a duty to respond. An officer that is not dispatched...well, they probably won't respond to an incident they're never dispatched to. You're used to dealing with incomplete information, most 911 calls have very incomplete information. The example you gave is pretty black and white. Here (in my opinion) is a more common example:
Caller: "I just saw a man with a gun walk into the 711!"
911: "Okay, sir, can you tell what the man was doing?"
Caller: "Hell no! He's got a gun! I got the hell out of there!"
An example for my job (the napping blood guy was far fetched) is the ubiquitous 'smoke in the area' call, always from a cell phone caller, and always in the middle of the night. 99.99% of the time it's fog, or somebody doing burn outs in their car, or steam from a local business, or somebody firing up their grill at midnight. 911 can't just decide that it isn't an emergency, though, so I get pulled out of my nice warm bunk, and I can't just decide it's not an emergency either, because there is a chance (albeit slim) that something serious is going on.
It seems like cops are being bashed for responding to these calls period, not just for responding to these call and being assholes or unprofessional. I stand by my statement that an officer dispatched to a report like this has a duty to respond, even if the OC doesn't like it. I suppose if people want to be pissed, they need to direct their anger towards emergency dispatchers, not our hard-pressed flatfoots.