Police Chief James Craig has suspended two 911 dispatchers for delays in sending officers to separate calls for service — including one that eventually resulted in a death.
Craig said Wednesday that the suspensions are without pay and that he is seeking criminal charges against a dispatcher who did not immediately send a patrol car to reports of an argument on the city’s east side.
FOX 2′s Charlie LeDuff says a woman who feared for her safety called 911 six times, but the dispatcher waited more than an hour to send officers to the dispute. LeDuff says by the time officers arrived the woman was shot by a man armed with an AK-47. She is now listed in critical condition.
Craig said police units were available when the 911 calls were made.
“If they would’ve come right away, this incident wouldn’t have happened,” said the victim’s cousin.
Craig says Commander Todd Bettison, the head of the Detroit Police Communications Center, was demoted to an inspector in the city’s Northeastern District.
LeDuff says back in May a woman was fatally stabbed after a call was made to 911 and cruiser didn’t arrive on scene for 90 minutes. The dispatcher in that case has been charged with misconduct of office, LeDuff says.
“Status quo, complacency, mediocrity will not be accepted,” said Craig. “We’re in the business of saving lives and certainly our inaction if it results in critical injury and death is problematic and unacceptable.”