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Scenario: What would you do?

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  • #16
    Not being able to get any additional information, the call priorities seem to be in order. If you were able to get more information, the officer needs help call could be the least important as the suspect could be down with everything else under control.
    Play stupid games and win stupid prizes. An all expenses paid trip with travel, meals, and accommodations included!

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    • #17
      Or the Officer bleeding out with the suspect moving in for the kill...
      Now go home and get your shine box!

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      • #18
        An officer calling for emergency assistance always has priority.
        Last edited by BNWS; 10-09-2020, 07:49 PM.

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        • Decided
          Decided commented
          Editing a comment
          At the end of the day, we have to help our own first before we're able to help anyone else.

        • Aidokea
          Aidokea commented
          Editing a comment
          [email protected] yeah- EVERYBODY goes home. That is the #1 rule in our profession...

      • #19
        In my area, when an "officer needs help/shots fired" call goes out over the radio, every available unit from our department (and surrounding agencies) tend to respond, i.e. officers at the station, out on patrol, on traffic stops or on any other non-emergency calls.

        However, if an officer is dispatched to a life-threatening emergency (such as a drowning baby) or a serious crime in progress (such as a residential burglary/home invasion), then that officer is expected to handle that call. Period. It's one thing to abort a traffic stop to rush to an officer's aid, but it's another thing to ignore an emergency call from the public. It's going be difficult to explain why two dozen cops showed up to help one of their own while a baby was left to drown...
        Last edited by not.in.MY.town; 10-09-2020, 08:47 PM.

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        • #20
          Let me ask this -

          Where I'm at, drowning and water related rescues are traditionally handled by the Fire Department. They are specifically trained in these matters, possess special resuscitation equipment police don't carry and usually respond Code 3 with paramedics and an ambulance for immediate medical care and transportation to the hospital after to the rescue. If PD is actually dispatched the same call, it's usually for traffic control around the fire rigs. Usually, all we get is a broadcast of something like, "Info only - Fire is responding to a drowning baby at 1234 Jones Street."

          With that in mind, consider two things:

          First, it is the responsibility of dispatch to prioritize and assign calls to officers in the field rather than let them know what's pending and put them them on the hot seat to prioritize. Based on the scenario OP has described, the comm center as failed in its duty to this officer and their watch commander needs to be held accountable for the indecision of his dispatchers. He is running a lax ship.

          Nonetheless, that hasn't happened in this scenario so let's move on. The officer is advised of two events - 1199/shots fired and a drowning baby. We all know he cannot be in two places at onece and there are equal arguments as to the merits and urgency of each call. Wouldn't it make sense to advise dispatch to roll Fire (the most appropriate agency) to the drowning baby call and for the officer (again, as the most appropriate agency) to respond to the 1-99/shots fired call?

          Each call will be getting an immediate Code 3 response by the best qualified agency to handle the specific matter at hand, or am I missing something? (Or are our ego so wrapped up in the concept that we have to be everything to all people that we forget there are other qualified responders out there other than the police to handle emergencies?)
          Last edited by L-1; 10-09-2020, 10:38 PM.
          Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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          • #21
            In response to the above post: Where I'm at, police are dispatched to EVERY 911 call regardless of the nature of the call, including all medical emergencies. EMS/paramedics and/or fire (as appropriate) would of course also be dispatched immediately. However, 99% of the time, a police officer would be the first on scene, often several minutes before EMS or fire can get there. Those minutes are crucial when CPR is required_. Depending on the nature of the call, EMS/paramedics/fire won't even approach without police presence. For example, they won't enter an unknown residence without police there, or treat a potentially combative subject, or put themselves in any unpredictable or potentially dangerous situation .

            It's not a matter of "ego". It's a matter of response time, and providing a secure scene for other responding services to do their jobs.

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            • #22
              Originally posted by not.in.MY.town View Post
              In response to the above post: Where I'm at, police are dispatched to EVERY 911 call regardless of the nature of the call, including all medical emergencies. EMS/paramedics and/or fire (as appropriate) would of course also be dispatched immediately. However, 99% of the time, a police officer would be the first on scene, often several minutes before EMS or fire can get there. Those minutes are crucial when CPR is required_. Depending on the nature of the call, EMS/paramedics/fire won't even approach without police presence. For example, they won't enter an unknown residence without police there, or treat a potentially combative subject, or put themselves in any unpredictable or potentially dangerous situation .

              It's not a matter of "ego". It's a matter of response time, and providing a secure scene for other responding services to do their jobs.
              Well, no one said anything about prople being combative or there being anything potentially dangerous about this child drowning call but OK, let's play this out.

              Each of the life threatening calls described here has equal merit but the officer can't be in two places at once, so he tells dispatch to roll Fire to the drowning child call while he responds to the 11-99/shots fired call. Fire arrives on scene but refuses to enter the back yard where the pool and drowning child are until a PD unit arrives to escort them.

              Legally, morally and in the court of public opinion, who is going to catch heat if the child dies due to the FD just sitting outside the house doing nothing waiting for a PD unit to be available to walk them in?




              Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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              • #23
                The OP's scenario really doesn't provide enough info to make a proper determination -- and no doubt was intentionally kept vague to test the applicant's thought process and reasoning ability (rather than looking for a specific answer).

                For us, a situation like that would never happen -- three emergency calls at the same time, apparently only one officer available, and he is dispatched to none (or all?) of them, so the lone officer must pick and choose. Something would have to go terribly wrong at the dispatch level (or it would have to be a very small/understaffed department) to create this type of situation.

                Again, where I'm at, the comm center would likely dispatch one officer along with fire/ems to the drowning. They would dispatch one or multiple units to the burglary. The officer needs help/shots fired call would go out to all available units who would each advise dispatch that they are responding. Never had a situation where nobody responded to that type of call, or where the closest officer to the shooting incident was dispatched to the drowning instead.

                In the extremely unlikely scenario where a lone officer has to make that decision, most would probably follow the First Rule of law enforcement -- "everyone goes home safe at the end of their shift". As for the baby, it's "sink or swim" until EMS/fire gets there.

                ETA: This is described as a baby drowning in a swimming pool (I guess nobody there can swim, or they are worried about ruining their hair). It's not some complicated water rescue that Fire and specialized units might respond to. So it makes sense for an officer to get there ASAP, fish out the baby, and begin lifesaving measures until EMS get there to take over. Even just a couple of minutes can make the difference between life or death, or between a full recovery and permanent disability.
                Last edited by not.in.MY.town; 10-10-2020, 05:21 AM.

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                • #24
                  Originally posted by L-1 View Post
                  drowning child are until a PD unit arrives to escort them.

                  Legally, morally and in the court of public opinion, who is going to catch heat if the child dies due to the FD just sitting outside the house doing nothing waiting for a PD unit to be available to walk them in?
                  In today's climate.......................The Police will be blamed
                  Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

                  My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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                  • #25
                    Originally posted by not.in.MY.town View Post
                    The OP's scenario really doesn't provide enough info to make a proper determination -- and no doubt was intentionally kept vague to test the applicant's thought process and reasoning ability (rather than looking for a specific answer).

                    For us, a situation like that would never happen -- three emergency calls at the same time, apparently only one officer available, and he is dispatched to none (or all?) of them, so the lone officer must pick and choose. Something would have to go terribly wrong at the dispatch level (or it would have to be a very small/understaffed department) to create this type of situation.

                    Again, where I'm at, the comm center would likely dispatch one officer along with fire/ems to the drowning. They would dispatch one or multiple units to the burglary. The officer needs help/shots fired call would go out to all available units who would each advise dispatch that they are responding. Never had a situation where nobody responded to that type of call, or where the closest officer to the shooting incident was dispatched to the drowning instead.

                    In the extremely unlikely scenario where a lone officer has to make that decision, most would probably follow the First Rule of law enforcement -- "everyone goes home safe at the end of their shift". As for the baby, it's "sink or swim" until EMS/fire gets there.

                    ETA: This is described as a baby drowning in a swimming pool (I guess nobody there can swim, or they are worried about ruining their hair). It's not some complicated water rescue that Fire and specialized units might respond to. So it makes sense for an officer to get there ASAP, fish out the baby, and begin lifesaving measures until EMS get there to take over. Even just a couple of minutes can make the difference between life or death, or between a full recovery and permanent disability.
                    Remember.........................This is an employment interview scenario designed to test the applicants reasoning skills NOT a real life scenario

                    I might add that in a smaller city/ rural area these decisions are actually made on a daily basis..............Volunteer Fire Departments/EMS units are not always real fast in responding whereas deputies/police are usually actually on the streets when crap happens
                    Last edited by Iowa #1603; 10-10-2020, 06:48 AM.
                    Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

                    My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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                    • #26
                      Where I worked, once an officer calls for emergency assistance no other calls are dispatched. It is the only call. Only transmissions to or from the dispatcher regarding the officer need assistance call will be addressed. Unless of course, it's a second officer needs assistance call. If its an extended incident they pull units from other divisions to start handling backlog.

                      Last edited by BNWS; 10-11-2020, 08:50 PM.

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                      • #27
                        Originally posted by CCCSD View Post
                        What if the burg in progress is an occupied dwelling?
                        The scenario is "residential burglary in progress". You don't get to find out whether the residence is occupied at the time. But, I'll bite. Don't think it affects my answer. Burglars over here don't want contact with householders. The vast majority of burglars in Blighty will run when they encounter a householder. It's not because they are frightfully nice chaps who worry about their victims, it's because they recognise any entanglement with a householder will hugely increase their chances of being caught. I'm not saying that a report of this nature would result in me rolling my eyes and then drifting back to sleep but, on the facts as presented, shots fired wins.

                        I'm a little bit waayy, a little bit wooah, a little bit woosh, I'm a geezer.

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                        • CCCSD
                          CCCSD commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Over here, burglars who creep occupied residences are a threat to life. These types will murder if caught. We don’t **** around with these calls.

                        • CCCSD
                          CCCSD commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Moot point for you guys anyway because there are no guns in England...right?

                      • #28
                        Volunteer Fire Departments/EMS units are not always real fast in responding whereas deputies/police are usually actually on the streets when crap happens
                        we have full time fire and EMS and we still get to calls first.
                        "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

                        "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

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                        • Aidokea
                          Aidokea commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Yup. Police cars will go 150 mph. Fire trucks won't.

                        • tanksoldier
                          tanksoldier commented
                          Editing a comment
                          My Tahoe tops out at 97, but I take your point...

                        • Aidokea
                          Aidokea commented
                          Editing a comment
                          They must have gotten you the civilian 4WD Tahoe. The agency I retired from had some, for rural off-road areas.

                          The 2WD Police Tahoe is electronically limited to 139 mph.

                      • #29
                        Over here, burglars who creep occupied residences are a threat to life. These types will murder if caught. We don’t **** around with these calls [...] Moot point for you guys anyway because there are no guns in England...right?
                        CCCSD, I'll let you in on a little secret. I did talk about the "vast majority" of burglaries. But we do get home invasions. A number relate to persons from a particular ethnic or national background who have a reputation for, quite legitimately, keeping gold jewellery at home. And yes, burglars will actively confront them because they want to access the safe/s. But these burglaries are still rare and the vast majority of burglaries (as defined by English law) where the offenders are looking to confront the householders are either drug rips or dealers looking to enforce drug debts (sometimes with innocent family members, generally not). Had one at court recently. Idiot 1 & 2 forced their way into an address, armed with knives, looking for money owed from underwriting a deal. Their investor was not present but they ripped off his goods and were subsequently found unconscious, their car parked in a fence some miles away, with the drugs spilled across their laps. So again, burglary would slip down the list compared to officer requires assistance.

                        As to guns. In the words of the greatest movie ever made (Hot Fuzz): "Everyone and their mums is packing round here. Really, like who? Farmers. Who else? Farmer's mums"

                        Yes, obviously, criminals have guns here. Some criminals. Some guns. A number of higher level gang members have access to guns. Top echelon organised crime members have ready access to guns. The occasional nut job who has smuggled a gun in or who has the technical expertise to re-activate a gun or load ammunition for obscure calibers, has a gun. We're an island but we're not in space. But I, personally, remain comfortable going about my day to day Police business in a high crime area with gang problems with just a stick, a set of handcuffs and a radio stuck in the pockets of my coat. The reason the various terrorists who carried out weapon based attacks in England in recent years used knives wasn't because they wanted to give us all a sporting chance (though we shot most of them anyway, go team) but because it is actually quite hard to source illegal firearms over here unless you're OCG.
                        I'm a little bit waayy, a little bit wooah, a little bit woosh, I'm a geezer.

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                        • #30
                          I’m not talking about home invasions. I’m talking about straight up killers. We have them, too many in fact. And yes, “Hot Fuzz” IS one of the finest Police movies ever made!
                          Now go home and get your shine box!

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