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  • Ever had THIS happen?

    Through a 'comedy' of errors by our dispatch and the records department, I managed to arrest the WRONG guy tonight.

    I had stopped a guy for a noise violation. When I ran his DL, I got a 'hit' in an adjoining county for 'Failure to Appear'. I asked dispatch to confirm the warrant via SSN and DOB. They 'did'. I also asked them to contact the county in question and ask them if they wanted this guy. They did and they wanted him.

    So......all the time this guy is SWEARING I've got the 'wrong guy'. He claims he's been arrested before on the same warrant and was released upon visual confirmation that he WASN'T the subject in question. Uh, yeah...right.

    Well.....just to be on the 'safe' side, my partner requests a fax copy of his booking photo from the county wanting him. It comes in all dark and grainy. We can't tell sh*t about it, BUT....we notice the SSN amd DOB on the WARRANT do NOT match the guy I have in custody.

    My guy is 15 YEARS younger than the DOB listed and his SSN is NOWHERE CLOSE to the one on the warrant.

    Did I mention dispatch CONFIRMED his SSN? Well...they did...sorta. It came back to the guy I had alright, but they DIDN'T confirm or compare it to the SSN on the WARRANT. What they DID was compare it to his DL info. Duh....

    So....a detective from the county in question shows up with a GOOD photo of the guy with the active warrant. He's a white guy, mide 40s. MY guy is BLACK and in his late twenties. Ooops?!
    "When you guys get home and face an anti-war protester, look him in the eyes and shake his hand. Then, wink at his girlfriend, because she knows she's dating a *****."
    -Commanding General, 1st Marine Division

  • #2
    I had it happen to me once. I stopped a guy for suspicious activity and when I ran his name they said he had a outstanding warrant. The lazy officer in records just checked by name and not race or date of birth. I arrest the guy and luckily he didn't resist. I get the warrant and the person I have is the wrong race, 10 years younger and had a different middle name. My Lt gave the records officer a good butt chewing for not checking all the info I had given him.

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    • #3
      We had a dispatcher who was infamous for being lazy and not running people you asked her to (this was before MDTs in squads).

      Whenever she was on NCIC, and told me that someone was clear, I would ask her for the subject's DL number or DL expiration date. There was usually a long pause followed by "Are you 10-12" (10-12 in our PD means that dispatch has some info that the bad guy doesn't need to hear, like he is wanted).

      Thankfully we now have MDT's and can do all the checking on our own.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by olnacl
        We had a dispatcher who was infamous for being lazy and not running people you asked her to (this was before MDTs in squads).

        Must be hard to fire people there, huh?

        We confirm any warrant through the S.O. here. Dispatch calls them and the clerk goes to the drawer, pulls it out and physically looks at it. If the warrant isn't in the drawer, they don't confirm and we don't arrest. Considering the number of warrants we serve in any given period, we have have very few mistaken arrests. Usually they aren't any LE's fault, but someone used someone else's name and got a warrant issued. That's can't be rectified on the street.
        "Life's tough, it's tougher if you're stupid." John Wayne

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        • #5
          Sounds like these dispatchers would fit in at my dept.

          Just last week an officer checked out with a stolen vehicle. A second officer checks out with. They arrest two people and over the course of the next fifteen minutes both of them talk to dispatch many times informing who they have arrested, having dispatch contact the owner of the car, getting a wrecker in route when the owner can't be found, etc.

          And then all of sudden the same dispatcher they have been dealing with the whole time asks one of the officers "are you checked out somewhere?" The dispatcher had been quite incompetent up to that point anyway in handling the officers requests and he blew a gasket and went off on her. When he was done she obviously was miffed and turned to another dispatcher to vent on the "rude officer." But she left her mike keyed so we all heard it.

          Then as if that wasn't bad enough she then tried to dispatch the other officer on a call. Never mind he also had talked to her numerous times and advised her that he had one under arrest. And there were many other officers available so it wasn't a case of having to have someone clear.

          And the sad thing is that this isn't really that abnormal for our dispatchers. Dispatch is a an utter wasteland of incompetence. Whenever a good one gets there they make a lateral transfer out as soon as they can to a better paying job elsewhere in the city which is allowed. Only the bad ones stick around. But our mayor doesn't see a need to increase pay. After all in her words "police work isn't dangerous because no police officers have ever been killed while I've been mayor."

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          • #6
            Originally posted by connor


            And the sad thing is that this isn't really that abnormal for our dispatchers. Dispatch is a an utter wasteland of incompetence. Whenever a good one gets there they make a lateral transfer out as soon as they can to a better paying job elsewhere in the city which is allowed. Only the bad ones stick around. But our mayor doesn't see a need to increase pay. After all in her words "police work isn't dangerous because no police officers have ever been killed while I've been mayor."
            You have a real problem with management there. That kind of thing should never be allowed to happen. If a few people started getting days off w/o pay, that kind of crap would end. They do it because they can get away with it. An atmosphere like that makes also makes it insufferable for someone who wants to work, no wonder they transfer out.

            That's one thing we never allowed. Everybody and their dog monitors police radio and it's a sign of unprofessionalism on both sides when smartass remarks go over the air. Police and dispatchers both are held accountable for their actions over the radio. I know that from personal experience, I've was told to return to station to have a chat with the shift commander on a couple of occasions when I got a little too cute over the radio.....
            "Life's tough, it's tougher if you're stupid." John Wayne

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by retdetsgt
              Must be hard to fire people there, huh?

              We confirm any warrant through the S.O. here. Dispatch calls them and the clerk goes to the drawer, pulls it out and physically looks at it. If the warrant isn't in the drawer, they don't confirm and we don't arrest. Considering the number of warrants we serve in any given period, we have have very few mistaken arrests. Usually they aren't any LE's fault, but someone used someone else's name and got a warrant issued. That's can't be rectified on the street.
              We have a similar process. When we run 29's (warrants) from our laptop it will tell us if the person is wanted in NCIC/FCIC. It however will not tell us if the guy is wanted for "locals" which are failure to appear, etc. Stupid, I know. It should all be in FCIC. For some reason county warrants are not put in there. To get locals, whoever is on teletype channel must send a message to SO, and it is done just like RDS explained.
              In law enforcement, the customer is ALWAYS wrong.

              In God we trust. Everyone else is run through NCIC.

              Sometimes there is justice. Sometimes there is just us.

              I'd rather be tried by 12 then carried by 6.


              The opinions given in my posts do not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only.

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              • #8
                warrants

                it was the mid 80's when our boys at the state capital
                decided not to enter most misd warrants in the ncic-fcic
                computer system due to the enormous amount that large cities would have to enter and these " phanthom' warrants taking up to much
                space on their hard drive. most of the misd warrants that do show up are goping to be domestic violence, dui, battery, .
                they are suppose to be up grading this computer mess with warrants,
                but it takes money. power trac, star trac, fire trac, admin trac have priority !!
                " if you talk in your sleep, don't mention my name....
                " if you walk in your sleep, forget where you came....

                Comment

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