Cleveland Dispatcher Who Took Missing Woman's Call Under Investigation
The Columbus police chief says 911 call takers in Columbus are trained to help those on the line stay calm until officers can arrive.
A Cleveland police dispatcher, who took Amanda Berry's frantic call after she was able to escape from a home where she was allegedly kept captive for 10 years, is now under investigation for not following those guidelines.
"OK, stay there with those neighbors," the dispatcher told Berry. "Talk to the police when they get there. Ok. Talk to the police when they get there. OK, hello? Talk to the police when they get there."
According to Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs, dispatchers get a year of training before they take calls on their own. They are taught to keep callers on the line when a crime is in progress, until police arrive.
She said they are also taught to help callers calm down.
"By asking directed questions and active listening, we can get the information we need, but also to focus them when they're in this really dramatic and traumatic situation," Jacobs said.
She said that officers try to get as much information as possible ahead of officers arriving on scene.
"Some people think that by asking all these questions, we're slowing the process down," Jacobs said. "We're actually enabling the officers to have information ongoing as the crime is in process. So, we're going to continue to talk to that caller as much as we can."
Jacobs said that 911 operators type and send information to dispatchers as they ask lots of questions to save time and try to get as much information as possible.
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