Detroit May Charge Dispatchers Criminally For Slow 911 Response


Detroit police, under fire for slow response times to emergencies, are considering criminal charges against two dispatchers for failing to send officers quickly on 911 calls — including one last month that ended with a woman being shot, reports the Detroit Free Press. Police Chief James Craig, who has been blunt about the need for changes in his department, called the problems with the dispatchers isolated, but said such mistakes won't be tolerated. In addition to the shooting, officers were dispatched slowly to a fatal stabbing in May, Craig said.

“Status quo, complacency, mediocrity will not be tolerated,” he said. Craig also demoted Cmdr. Todd Bettison, the head of the troubled communications section, to the rank of inspector. The demotion was related to the request for criminal charges against one dispatcher and the possibility of charges against a second dispatcher. Betty Hood, the mother of the woman shot on Friday, said her daughter repeatedly called 911 in the early morning hours trying to prevent an argument at her house from escalating, but police didn't respond until after her daughter had been shot.

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