When Richard Poplawski’s mother called 911 to ask that her son be removed from their home in Pittsburgh last weekend, she acknowledged that he had weapons. That crucial piece of information never was relayed to the three Pittsburgh police officers who responded and were fatally shot, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “It should have gone out,” Allegheny County Chief of Emergency Services Robert Full said yesterday.
“There was human error,” Full said. “We are all living this now forever and ever.” The 911 call-taker has been on the job for less than a year, including training. She was placed on paid administrative leave and has been offered counseling. Former Fraternal Order of Police President James Malloy described such an omission as “heart-breaking.” Officers knowing that someone involved in a domestic dispute has guns would handle the situation with more caution, he said. “You approach the house with a different attitude. You approach the house from a distance. You park your car a distance away from the house so you can hit the dirt,” said Malloy, a retired sergeant.