Minneapolis altered the way it handles emergency calls after up to six people who called 911 during last month’s shooting rampage at a small business didn’t reach operators, says the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The city knows of at least four people and possibly as many as six who called 911 during the incident but hung up when no one answered, said Heather Hunt, director of emergency communications. Starting this week, callers to 911 who do not get an operator within 10 seconds will hear a recorded message telling them to stay on the line until an operator is available. The message is repeated in Spanish.
No one has faulted the police for its response to the Sept. 27 shootings by Andrew Engeldinger, who responded to his termination from a sign factory by killing five people, wounding three and taking his own life. Sixteen calls about the shooting came into the 911 center, and police were on the scene 5 1/2 minutes after the first call, Hunt said. That compares with an average response time of 8 minutes 13 seconds for the highest-priority calls in 2011. The window of 4 to 5 p.m. is typically the busiest for Minneapolis 911, receiving an average of 100 calls, she said, and that Thursday was no different.