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calendar   Friday - October 26, 2007

We’re having issues with call prioritization

One of my favorite lines comes from Gun Talk host Tom Gresham: “When seconds count, the police are minutes away.” That is not a bash on the police at all, but rather the cold reality that they cannot be everywhere at once.  The laws of physics apply to them as well as me, so if I call them with an emergency, it will take an average of 7-15 minutes for a cop to show up.

Now, imagine if you came home and found someone carting off your household belongings?  You call 9-1-1 and expect them to send someone around to maybe....catch them?

Not in Winnipeg.

Police take 19 hours to respond to woman’s 911 call

WINNIPEG - A Winnipeg woman is a little miffed that it took police 19 hours before they showed up to investigate her 911 call about catching burglars in the act of ransacking her house.

Joanne Martin told Global TV Winnipeg that she thought it would be OK to leave her house alarm off because she would only be out for a couple of hours. But she returned to find a van parked in her driveway and at least three thieves loading up her belongings.

Insurance company officials showed up about an hour after they were called, but though police were called within five minutes of Martin spotting the thieves, officers didn’t arrive at the home until the next day.

“I don’t know what they can do now,” said Martin.

One city official admits something went wrong.

“We’re having issues with call prioritization,” said Gord Steeves, chairman of the city’s protection committee. “Our volumes are in the thousands in terms of calls that we’re getting every single day. But we’re still lined up with way too many calls in the queue and there has got to be a better way to ferret out the less important ones.”

However, police say that since Martin called 911 from inside the home after the thieves had left, they determined she was safe.

“We were reassured that at that moment that no one’s safety or life was in jeopardy,” said Const. Jason Michalyshen. “As a result, other arrangements to take that report were made.”

Ironically, police policy is that homeowners should never enter a house that’s been broken into before police arrive.

The brazen theft took place on a busy street at 4 p.m. while lots of her neighbours were home, but no one appears to have noticed anything wrong.

“They’ve been doing a lot of work on that house,” explained neighbour Barbara Pertson. “They put a new roof on it and there was banging coming from there ... I wouldn’t wouldn’t have paid any attention.”

The crooks made off with a flat-screen television, a VCR and a handful of jewelry after smashing in through the rear entrance.

“That’s what is scary,” said Martin. “They kick in your door at four o’clock in the afternoon. How do they know I’m not there?”

Indeed Joanne.  Too bad your government doesn’t trust you to take care of yourself.  Guess you really are on your own then, eh?


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 10/26/2007 at 08:58 AM   
Filed Under: • Crime •  
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