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Thread: 'Student's phone dialed 911 but got no response.' JS Online Imagine, a self-dialing phone!

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    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories...MPLATE=DEFAULT

    By RYAN J. FOLEY
    Associated Press Writer

    MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A college student apparently called 911 from her cell phone shortly before she was murdered but a dispatcher hung up, failed to call back and never sent police to investigate, authorities said Thursday.
    Madison Police Chief Noble Wray said it was too early to know whether a better response could have prevented Brittany Zimmermann's April 2 murder or helped police capture her killer.
    Authorities refused to release the content of the phone call, but Wray said it should have been enough for the Dane County 911 Center to take it seriously.
    "It would be accurate to state that there is evidence contained in the call, which should have resulted in a Madison police officer being dispatched," Wray said at a news conference. "The 911 center did not call back to the telephone number, Madison police were not notified and no officer was sent."
    Zimmermann, a 21-year-old University of Wisconsin-Madison student, was found murdered in her apartment in an apparently random killing that shocked the city. Police believe someone broke into her apartment before killing her. They have not identified a suspect but have ruled out her fiance, who found her body in the apartment they shared.
    News of the botched 911 call, first reported Thursday by Madison weekly newspaper Isthmus, embarrassed authorities and disappointed Zimmermann's friends.
    "Obviously, it saddens me a lot," said Jenna Krasselt, 24, Zimmermann's best friend and her fiance's sister. "If there could have been anything done, who wouldn't want it done? She was the best person I know."
    Dane County Public Safety Communications Director Joseph Norwick said the dispatcher who received the call from Zimmermann's cell phone inquired several times to determine whether an emergency existed. The dispatcher hung up after receiving no answer and then answered another 911 call that was waiting, he said.
    The dispatcher failed to call the number back as required under the department's policy, Norwick said.
    "The dispatcher didn't call back. It was waiting in the queue and intended to get back to it later," he said, adding that never happened.
    Authorities refused to release the content of the call or say whether Zimmermann's voice could be heard. They also would not say when the call was made or how long it lasted before the dispatcher hung up.
    The dispatcher had no way of distinguishing the call from the dozens of other accidental and "hang-up" calls the center received that day, Norwick said.
    Police were not dispatched to investigate because the call came from a cell phone. Officers are only automatically sent to such calls when they come from landlines because cell phones are harder to pinpoint, Norwick said.
    But Wray insisted the call should have been taken seriously. He released a copy of a police policy that reads: "If at any time a 911 cell call is received and the dispatcher has reason to believe that police services are needed, appropriate police resources shall be dispatched to the area the cell phone call was made from."
    "This was not an accidental 911 call, it was not an intentionally erroneous call, nor was it a hang-up call," he said.
    Wray also said dispatchers have technology to pinpoint the location of cell phone calls, again contradicting Norwick.
    Police detectives learned about the call during their investigation, not from the dispatch center. Wray said he asked the center to conduct an internal investigation shortly after her murder to determine how the call was handled. When that is complete, police will be able to better gauge the impact of the botched response, he said.
    Norwick said he was still conducting the investigation and reviewing whether policies should be changed and employees should be disciplined. But he also said, "I don't think there's anything to apologize for at this time."
    "The dispatcher is a competent, caring person and a long-standing employee with a good record," he said. "Of course, that person feels very concerned for what happened."


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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    Well, being that this is more than a local issue, and being that the thread on this in the News Forum was closed, can we get this moved to the news forum? Please? This is of more general concern than just to those in the state of WI given the recent spate of 911 calls being mishandled. There were 2 other stories of badly handled 911 calls on the national news just this morning. I think cases like this bolster our cause more than anything else and need to get as much traffic on the forum as possible. If not for the posting in the News forum I never would have seen this as I don't peruse the WI forum typically.

    But he also said, "I don't think there's anything to apologize for at this time." "The dispatcher is a competent, caring person and a long-standing employee with a good record," he said. "Of course, that person feels very concerned for what happened."
    Everyone needs to see this. Everyone needs to read Norwich's utter lack of mortification that his 911 operator not getting around to calling back may have allowed a young woman's death. Everyone needs to read how the police chief's information as to the capability of the 911 system re: cell phones and the 911 procedures differ from the public statement of the person administrating that system. There is a fundamental breakdown somewhere that the public needs answers about in this case and nationally within the 911 system.

    This is near absolute proof of what we always talk about that regardless of what politician and anti-gunners say, we are all, everyone of us, essentially on our own when the BG enters our lives. The police have no obligation to protect us. And no matter how much bravery any individual officer may show to save a citizen's life it serves no purpose if s/he isn't told where the crime is, where they need to be, where a citizen's life is threatened.

    MODS: Please move this to the News Forum.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    Regular Member Mainsail's Avatar
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    I listen to the scanner here in Tacoma Washington and hear dozens of 911 calls that were made by Phase2 Wireless that are routinely ignored. These go out as “information only” and no officer is dispatched. I have even heard police sergeants reply to dispatch to ignore the calls for their shift. There is apparently some issue with this company’s cell phones that they dial 911 automatically. If the dispatcher tries to call back it doesn’t work.



    It’s sort of the modern day “boy who cried wolf”.

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    Mainsail wrote:
    I listen to the scanner here in Tacoma Washington and hear dozens of 911 calls that were made by Phase2 Wireless that are routinely ignored. These go out as “information only” and no officer is dispatched. I have even heard police sergeants reply to dispatch to ignore the calls for their shift. There is apparently some issue with this company’s cell phones that they dial 911 automatically. If the dispatcher tries to call back it doesn’t work.



    It’s sort of the modern day “boy who cried wolf”.
    Wouldn't it be illegal to create a cell phone or cell network that automatically called 911? Don't most places have laws about non-emergency calls? I can't imagine that this hasn't been addressed and publicized. I would sure as hell want to know if my particular cell phone carrier or brand of phone were going to cause my 911 emergency call to go ignored.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    Mainsail wrote:
    It’s sort of the modern day “boy who cried wolf”
    Many communities license home-alarm systems to recover the costs of response to false alarms. Mt. P., SC, PD had some horrific statistics on number of false alarms and time officers spent investigating.

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    Bottom line, had she been armed, nobody can argue that the gun would not have changed the odds. This kind of stuff happens all the time, in good and bad neighborhoods. The average person isn't prepared. Especially when a felon bursts in the door with a friend, and you don't have time to get your pistol from a safe.

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    This really hit home for me. A close friend of mine, who is also 21 and female, lives, goes to school, and works in Philadelphia, and I've been trying to get her to get a gun and carry it. I've even offered to give her one of my shotguns to keep in her apartment, but she believes that guns are evil and refuses to so much as touch one.

    And I second that motion to move this to the News forum

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    I don't see what the big deal is, and I'm at Madison. The cops get a ton of calls with no one on the other line. We have these big red poles with direct lines to 911. You press a button and it calls 911. I wonder how many times idiotic morons go around pressing the buttons?

    Besides, no duty to protect. Remember that SCOTUS ruling?

    I feel sorry that the woman is dead, and the 911 operator is probably gonna be fired for breaking some policy that is only applied when the police have press directed at them. However, this does show, you are responsible for yourself and cannot depend on the police.


    This article was also run on the front page of both student papers. I can't wait to read the comments and letters to the editor that come from it.

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    http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=4772465&page=1

    Outrage After Newspaper Exposes Slain Wisconsin Student Called 911 Without Response
    By DAVID SCHOETZ
    May 2, 2008

    The Madison, Wis., reporter who broke a bombshell story about an unreturned 911 call from a murdered college student said today that police and county dispatchers intentionally withheld from the public details about the breach of protocol, which could have saved the student's life.

    Brittany Zimmermann called 911 from her cell phone before her April 2 murder at an off-campus apartment near the University of Wisconsin, but a busy county dispatcher who heard nothing on the line failed to notify police or return the 21-year-old student's call.
    Joe Norwick, director of the Dane County 911 Communications Center, confirmed Zimmermann's 911 call -- and his staff member's lack of follow up -- at a press conference Thursday after a bombshell investigative report appeared in the Isthmus, a weekly Madison newspaper.

    Jason Shepard, the reporter who broke the story and a doctoral candidate at the University of Wisconsin, said the 911 call foul-up and the extent of media pressure required to break the story suggest a lack of transparency around the investigation. "It's disconcerting that they hid the 911 call," he said. "The reality is nobody wanted this to come out."
    Shepard pointed to an earlier detail about the assailant's forced entry into Zimmermann's apartment, which he said was not revealed until the media brought it to light. "Their justification for withholding stuff is evolving," he said.
    adsonar_placementId=1280488;adsonar_pid=43749;adso nar_ps=-1;adsonar_zw=165;adsonar_zh=220;adsonar_jv='ads.ad sonar.com';Shepard has also reported that Zimmermann was stabbed to death multiple times in the chest and beaten upon her head, details police have not confirmed.
    Madison Police Department spokesman Joel DeSpain said that while the 911 call details may have proved accurate, not everything Shepard reported was. "We believe there is some misinformation in the reporting of the Isthmus story," he said, "but I'm not going to parse the story."

    No Cell Phone Police Dispatch Zimmermann's original call, made from her cell phone, was disconnected when the Dane County dispatcher, hearing no response from Zimmermann, decided no emergency was taking place.
    "A dispatcher answered this call, and inquired several times to determine whether an emergency existed on the other end of the phone and received no answer to the inquiries," Norwick said.


    The dispatcher moved on to another waiting call, which was also a hang-up, according to Norwick. The dispatcher then called the second number back and confirmed that the call was not an emergency, before moving on to a third 911 call about an unwanted person in a Madison house. The dispatcher, who Norwick defended and who has not been disciplined, never circled back to return Zimmermann's call.
    That decision broke dispatch protocol and jeopardized the possibility that police could have arrived more quickly and either prevented Zimmermann's death or captured her killer.
    "Under current policy, if dispatchers answer a 911 call and either don't hear a voice on the other end of the call or are unable to determine if there's an emergency, the dispatcher calls that number back," Norwick said, adding, however, that police are only automatically sent if a 911 call comes from a land line, not a cell phone.

    Dispatcher Defended
    Norwick offered statistics to defend the dispatcher, saying 115 "so-called 911 hang-up calls" came through the dispatch center every day, 83 of which came from cell phones. "These calls can range from children playing with phones, buttons inadvertently bumped on phones left in coat pockets or purses, or crime victims looking for help," Norwick said.
    Tragically, in the case of Brittany Zimmermann, a very violent crime was under way inside the apartment she shared with her fiance. The police investigation into her murder turns one-month-old today and has produced no suspects and kept the college community on edge.
    adsonar_placementId=1280488;adsonar_pid=43749;adso nar_ps=-1;adsonar_zw=165;adsonar_zh=220;adsonar_jv='ads.ad sonar.com';The Madison Police Department released a statement Thursday acknowledging that the 911 call was made, a fact that had not been previously shared with the public.
    "That day, the MPD brought this call to the attention of the Dane County 911 Center," the statement reads, adding that the police requested that the dispatch center not release "information pertaining to this call," a request that has not changed.

    Evidence of Emergency? But police say the call's recording should have indicated to dispatchers that some type of emergency was taking place. "It would be accurate to state that there is evidence contained in the call, which should have resulted in a Madison police officer being dispatched," the statement reads. "That would have been consistent with both Madison Police Department Policy, and national 911 standards."


    Police offered no indication of what evidence from the call should have prompted the dispatch. Neither police nor Dane County dispatch are willing to release the recording, citing the ongoing criminal investigation.
    Madison police also released a January 2007 memo that was sent to the county communications center about a technology upgrade that would allow dispatchers to determine the location of a call from a cell phone.

    Madison Police Chief Noble Wray, who held a press conference Thursday to release the police statement about the cell phone call, did not immediately return a phone call from ABC News today, but DeSpain, the police spokesman, said that if it were not for Norwick's press conference, the police would not have held one of their own.

    Investigative Report Hits Hard Few details have been released regarding Zimmermann's murder, one in a string five unsolved homicides in 10 months that have shaken the Wisconsin college town. In late January, 35-year-old Joel Marino was stabbed to death with a paring knife inside his apartment. Unlike Marino, Zimmermann's exact cause of death has not been confirmed. "We're not releasing the cause of death and have asked the coroner to do the same," DeSpain said.
    adsonar_placementId=1280488;adsonar_pid=43749;adso nar_ps=-1;adsonar_zw=165;adsonar_zh=220;adsonar_jv='ads.ad sonar.com';Shepard, who said the story followed three weeks of reporting, cited anonymous law enforcement sources in the story. He said he sent an outline of the story to Norwick revealing his intention to report the 911 call. Norwick would not comment, Shepard told ABC News, because of the police request to not share information about Zimmermann's 911 call. Shepard argues, however, that police did not ask him to make a blanket denial that the call was ever made.
    When he began to apply pressure on authorities about the 911 call, he said, some police began to feel like the dispatchers were pointing fingers at police when it was the dispatcher's mistake that may have compromised the police response.
    Noting that the details of the 911 call and the forced entry were only made public after media pressure, Shepard also said that nothing has been said about DNA collected at the crime scene.

    Community Tension The Isthmus story stirred outrage in Madison, where residents remain on edge. The Wisconsin State Journal hammered the Dane County dispatch in an editorial today titled "No apology? You better find one." "Apologize from the heart," the editorial began. "Find out what went wrong and fix it."

    Since Zimmermann's death, her family has created a scholarship in her name. Zimmermann, a Wisconsin native and junior at the university, was a medical microbiology and immunology major who hoped to attend medical school.

    Police quickly ruled out Zimmermann's fiance, who discovered her body and reported it to 911, as a suspect in the case. The investigation has focused in part on Madison's homeless and transient communities, with tips coming in from "residents who saw people going door-to-door asking for money on the day of the homicide."
    Some of those people were interviewed and arrested on other charges, Madison police confirmed, but no one has been named a suspect in the murder.





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    Brigdh wrote:
    This article was also run on the front page of both student papers. I can't wait to read the comments and letters to the editor that come from it.
    Please post 'em

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    What's interesting is that they're not releasing cause of death...

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    Doug Huffman wrote:
    Brigdh wrote:
    This article was also run on the front page of both student papers. I can't wait to read the comments and letters to the editor that come from it.
    Please post 'em
    http://badgerherald.com/news/2008/05...l_to_respo.php

    http://www.dailycardinal.com/article/2973



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    Thank you. I read both and commented at 'The Badger Herald' and am waiting for the editor's approval and posting of it. There were two dozen comments, mine and another's had a name and the remainder were by the busy little rat Anony Mouse with many opinions but only one vote.

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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    I commented as well and also await seeing if it gets posted. I posted as anonymous as I didn't feel like taking the time to register.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    Doug Huffman wrote:
    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories...MPLATE=DEFAULT

    By RYAN J. FOLEY
    Associated Press Writer

    MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A college student apparently called 911 from her cell phone shortly before she was murdered but a dispatcher hung up, failed to call back and never sent police to investigate, authorities said Thursday.
    Madison Police Chief Noble Wray said it was too early to know whether a better response could have prevented Brittany Zimmermann's April 2 murder or helped police capture her killer.
    Authorities refused to release the content of the phone call, but Wray said it should have been enough for the Dane County 911 Center to take it seriously.
    "It would be accurate to state that there is evidence contained in the call, which should have resulted in a Madison police officer being dispatched," Wray said at a news conference. "The 911 center did not call back to the telephone number, Madison police were not notified and no officer was sent."
    Zimmermann, a 21-year-old University of Wisconsin-Madison student, was found murdered in her apartment in an apparently random killing that shocked the city. Police believe someone broke into her apartment before killing her. They have not identified a suspect but have ruled out her fiance, who found her body in the apartment they shared.
    News of the botched 911 call, first reported Thursday by Madison weekly newspaper Isthmus, embarrassed authorities and disappointed Zimmermann's friends.
    "Obviously, it saddens me a lot," said Jenna Krasselt, 24, Zimmermann's best friend and her fiance's sister. "If there could have been anything done, who wouldn't want it done? She was the best person I know."
    Dane County Public Safety Communications Director Joseph Norwick said the dispatcher who received the call from Zimmermann's cell phone inquired several times to determine whether an emergency existed. The dispatcher hung up after receiving no answer and then answered another 911 call that was waiting, he said.
    The dispatcher failed to call the number back as required under the department's policy, Norwick said.
    "The dispatcher didn't call back. It was waiting in the queue and intended to get back to it later," he said, adding that never happened.
    Authorities refused to release the content of the call or say whether Zimmermann's voice could be heard. They also would not say when the call was made or how long it lasted before the dispatcher hung up.
    The dispatcher had no way of distinguishing the call from the dozens of other accidental and "hang-up" calls the center received that day, Norwick said.
    Police were not dispatched to investigate because the call came from a cell phone. Officers are only automatically sent to such calls when they come from landlines because cell phones are harder to pinpoint, Norwick said.
    But Wray insisted the call should have been taken seriously. He released a copy of a police policy that reads: "If at any time a 911 cell call is received and the dispatcher has reason to believe that police services are needed, appropriate police resources shall be dispatched to the area the cell phone call was made from."
    "This was not an accidental 911 call, it was not an intentionally erroneous call, nor was it a hang-up call," he said.
    Wray also said dispatchers have technology to pinpoint the location of cell phone calls, again contradicting Norwick.
    Police detectives learned about the call during their investigation, not from the dispatch center. Wray said he asked the center to conduct an internal investigation shortly after her murder to determine how the call was handled. When that is complete, police will be able to better gauge the impact of the botched response, he said.
    Norwick said he was still conducting the investigation and reviewing whether policies should be changed and employees should be disciplined. But he also said, "I don't think there's anything to apologize for at this time."
    "The dispatcher is a competent, caring person and a long-standing employee with a good record," he said. "Of course, that person feels very concerned for what happened."
    But remember...That the U.S SUPREME COURT deemed it that Law Enforcement has NO OBLIGATION/ DUTY to protect the INDIVIDUAL. So she was screwed from the get go ( Pardon me if this last sentence offended anyone, it was NOT my intention) since Law Enforcement is a GENERAL AUXILLRY DETERRENT only. PUBLIC service/protection and NOT for the individual. IF they CHOOSE to protect you as an individual they go ABOVE AND BEYOND the call of duty:what:.



    TJ

    TJ

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    If it seems they are trying to hush it up use the FOIA route.

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