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911 call goes awry


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This is the best link i could find for this, but I heard it on the new this morning too.....



WATAUGA — A 911 dispatcher has apologized after responding to a mother's plea for help with an unruly child by saying: "OK. Do you want us to come over to shoot her?"


The woman, identified only as Lori in Wednesday's editions of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, said she recently phoned authorities after coming home to find her daughters fighting. She told the call-taker her 12-year-old, who had kicked a hole in the door, was out of control.


After dispatcher Mike Forbess' comment, the line went dead for 5 seconds.


"Are you there?" Forbess asked.


"Excuse me?" Lori said.


Forbess, a dispatcher for five years at the Watauga Department of Public Safety, told her he was joking and apologized.


The woman was not amused.


"This is a slap in the face that my child was not important enough, my call for help, my 911 call was not important enough that he had to make a joke about it," Lori said Monday. The newspaper withheld the woman's complete identity to protect her daughters.


Forbess immediately told his supervisor about the call and received a letter of reprimand two days later. He received a second written reprimand from Chief David Van Laar on Monday, the same day the Star-Telegram obtained a transcript of the 911 call.


"This type of response cannot be tolerated, and this letter shall serve as notice that any future unprofessional responses while answering the 911 line will be cause for termination," Van Laar wrote to Forbess.


The woman said she wants more done than what she termed just an "interoffice disciplinary action."


"I admit what I did. It was stupid, it was inexcusable and I'm sorry," Forbess told the newspaper. "I know it's not enough for her or for the papers or for the rest of the world. I've taken the punishment that they gave."


Van Laar said he didn't issue a harsher penalty because Forbess immediately told his supervisor and admits making a mistake.


"He's a good employee. He just made a severe mistake which is inexcusable," Van Laar said "This is not something you should hear on the other end of a 911 call."


Watauga is a Fort Worth suburb of about 22,100 residents.


This is the second time in a month I have heard about 911 dispatchers making replies like this. The other case, unfortunately, I can't find a good link for, but the 911 dispatcher replied to a call for an ambulance to an accident by replying "oh yeah, too bad. <click>"


In this case though, although it's wrong for the dispatcher to make such a reply, I don't think 911 is the number to be calling just because a parent can't get her kids under control. I mean, the dispatcher isn't Dr. Phil, and he could have been responding to much more pressing calls, such as fires or accidents, not some teenager girl throwing a fit.

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Thats messed up, I wonder how they would feel if a guy with a gun was inside there house and they called 911, and after the dispatcher says hello, BAM!


If the gunshot happened right after he said hello, he wouldn't have had the chance to make the off comment, though.

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It shouldn't have happened, but it sure was amusing. A 12 year old throwing a hissy fit probably isn't a good reason to call 911, and this dispatcher had the balls to tell this woman. People need to raise their own kids these days, but that's a rant for another time.

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