911 operators in Pittsburgh have a new tool: A sheet of paper at their desks with instructions on how to interrogate callers about weapons, says the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “We’re never gonna let this happen again. Not on my watch,” county Emergency Services Chief Robert Full said in pledging that 911 employees will make every effort to uncover critical information that could save police officers’ lives. Richard Poplawski, 22, killed three officers after they responded to his home for a dispute with his mother.
Although a 911 operator was told there were weapons in the house, the information was not passed along to the officers. The operator also did not probe for more details. Poplawski had an arsenal that included an AK-47, a shotgun and some handguns. A part-time 911 call-taker hired in November who took the call had finished 320 hours of classroom and on-the-job training in late February — training that spells out protocols for handling calls in which weapons are mentioned.