This weekend nj.com, a news site covering Trenton, New Jersey compiled 911 calls, radio recordings, and non-emergency calls from an officer involved shooting. The audio provides a good cross section into the communications center during a high-stress event.
On November 13, 2014 Trenton Police received multiple 911 calls about a disturbance involving a man with a gun on Willson Street. Officers were dispatched to the location, and upon their arrival a male party began shooting from inside the house. Officers returned fire, striking and killing the suspect inside the home. None of the responding officers or other civilians were struck by gunfire, however two officers were treated for related injuries.
The first thing to remember from this compilation is that your non-emergency or business lines are subject to FOIA requests just like 911 or radio recordings. Keep this in mind when your on the phone with officers or administrators during or after an event. We have all done it before, made the off hand comment that we wouldn’t want to have printed in the paper. The media and lawyers are becoming more aware of the availability of these recordings and courts are upholding requests for them even prior to the completion of an investigation.
The second item that stands out is the communication between the dispatchers in the room. This situation evolved rapidly, and each dispatcher had a small piece of the puzzle. They effectively communicated what they were hearing, adjusted their responses appropriately, and maintained their composure.
Overall, strong work by the dispatchers dealing with a stressful situation.