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What would you do?

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  • What would you do?

    I recently had an oral interview with a local agency for a sworn position. Most of the questions were standard interview and scenario questions that did not surprise me. However, one question in particular caught me off guard:

    Prioritize the following calls to respond to, which happen simultaneously and are of equal distance from your current location:
    1) An officer needs help call (10-33/ 11-99 shots fired)
    2) A drowning baby in a swimming pool.
    3) A residential burglary in progress.

    Personally, the above order is how I prioritized the calls. In a nutshell, I articulated the following:
    1) This call is urgent, and my partner is likely facing a threat that requires deadly force to be neutralized-- As a peace officer, I have that capability.
    2) While this call is also urgent, other first responder resources (fire/EMS) are just as, or even better, qualified and equipped to attend to this call. I can request that fire/EMS is dispatched to this location.
    3) This call is urgent, but is clearly not as urgent as the two above. The suspect may be gone by the time I arrive at the scene.

    I am not looking for approval here. I am legitimately curious as to how other (more experienced) officers would respond to this question. I asked numerous colleagues-- to my surprise, the older officers ranked the drowning baby call #1, while the younger officers prioritized the help call as #1.

    Your thoughts?
    Last edited by icu721; 10-06-2020, 10:08 PM.

  • #2
    The 1033/1199 codes mean something very different to me. Those codes would not illicit an emergency response. An officers needs help, shots fired does illicit an emergency response. They gave you those codes or you added them to generate a specific response?

    There was no other information provided? How big is this department? How many officers are assigned to a shift? How many shifts are there? What time of day did this occur? Where are the located (in an urban/suburban interface with other cities or out in a rural unincorporated area)?

    This prioritization typically happens at the dispatch and/or supervisor level.

    I would imagine listening to the radio, you will hear the officer request help for shots fired. The other two are going to be calls into dispatch, so you won’t hear them until the dispatcher is ready to broadcast them.
    Last edited by RGDS; 10-06-2020, 07:05 AM.
    semper destravit

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    • #3
      I'm still in the process my self with a department and your logic behind your responses makes sense to me after some thought. I would have probably ranked my responses in the same order.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by RGDS View Post
        The 1033/1199 codes mean something very different to me. Those codes would not illicit an emergency response. An officers needs help, shots fired does illicit an emergency response. They gave you those codes or you added them to generate a specific response?

        There was no other information provided? How big is this department? How many officers are assigned to a shift? How many shifts are there? What time of day did this occur? Where are the located (in an urban/suburban interface with other cities or out in a rural unincorporated area)?

        This prioritization typically happens at the dispatch and/or supervisor level.

        I would imagine listening to the radio, you will hear the officer request help for shots fired. The other two are going to be calls into dispatch, so you won’t hear them until the dispatcher is ready to broadcast them.
        The panel member's own words were "Priority officer needs help call-- shots have been fired." Perhaps I shouldn't have used radio codes in my post since they differ across the state.

        I know the question itself raises a lot of questions, and the panel knows this -- they know that initial prioritization occurs with dispatch. In essence, it is a no-win scenario and the panel wants to see how I think. That is why the question was relatively vague and any effort to gain more information was shot down.

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        • #5
          What WE would do is not the answer to what YOU would do. Figure it out.

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          • icu721
            icu721 commented
            Editing a comment
            "I am not looking for approval here. I am legitimately curious as to how other (more experienced) officers would respond to this question. I asked numerous colleagues-- to my surprise, the older officers ranked the drowning baby call #1, while the younger officers prioritized the help call as #1.

            Your thoughts?"

            Also I already told everyone my response...

        • #6
          I don’t provide answers or assistance to candidates who are trying to get hired. Those questions are asked for a reason...

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          • #7
            I’ve said this before, most interview questions are more about why you would do something vs what you choose to do. It’s all about your thought process.

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            • #8
              You won't find much of a response from folks that are sworn here. Like RGDS said there are to many variables in play. The question is what YOU would do not us.
              I'd rather be judged by 12 rather carried by 6.

              It should be noted that any and all post that are made are based on my own thought and opinions. And are not related or implied to represent the department I work for.

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              • #9
                While there might be a right or wrong answer, sometimes there isn't a right or wrong answer. Maybe the people asking the questions want to know what you think and why. Being able to explain your reasoning is sometimes more important than the actual decision.

                As others have said, the three scenarios given will never be that cut and dry.

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                • #10
                  You answered it correctly. The point is to make sure you can make a decision and justify your actions. Odd question for a sworn position. I have been asked something similar for dispatch jobs though.

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                  • #11
                    Originally posted by nobodyjr View Post
                    You answered it correctly. The point is to make sure you can make a decision and justify your actions. Odd question for a sworn position. I have been asked something similar for dispatch jobs though.
                    That’s a standard question in CA.

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                    • #12
                      For everyone who is stressing over which has priority - 1199 - shots fired or drowning baby, let me ask a question -

                      What agency usually responds to drowning calls?
                      Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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                      • #13
                        Originally posted by L-1 View Post
                        For everyone who is stressing over which has priority - 1199 - shots fired or drowning baby, let me ask a question -

                        What agency usually responds to drowning calls?
                        LE. Like everything else...

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                        • #14
                          Originally posted by CCCSD View Post

                          LE. Like everything else...
                          Do they? What other agency exists to worship cops (or so we like to think)?
                          Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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                          • #15
                            DAs Office.

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