Is Vancouver the Seattle of Canada?

And you thought aggressive homeless people were only a problem in the USA. Owner of Vancouver building says Gastown residents blocked by hostile campers

The owner of a rental apartment building in Gastown says there has been little help from the city, claiming hostile homeless campers are blocking residents from using the front entranceway.

Jon Stovell has been documenting seemingly deteriorating conditions around the property.

911 tells him to call the non-emergency number. Response to the non-emergency number is not very good. So he is doing the only thing he can, document the decline of his neighborhood on Twitter.

The president of Reliance Properties has been posting the pictures on Twitter, images ranging from spit dripping down the entranceway phone, human waste on the pavement, and what seems to be open drug use and dealing in the doorway of the building at Hastings and Carrall streets.

Maybe it is more the San Francisco of Canada.

The Mayor Is Disturbed That Cops Are Minutes Away

So Hagerstown, Maryland Mayor Bob Bruchey had a reason to call 911. Cops were not there instantly, and he didn’t like the way things were handled. County official says mayor distorted 911 reaction to theft call.

He said in a F*c*book post that he was “on the phone for 9 minutes.” He wasn’t. He hung up on 911 because he was pissed that cops were not there instantly.

The first officer, flagged down by Bruchey, called into the dispatch center 6 minutes and 21 seconds into the call to ask to be added to the call, that he’d been flagged down and was checking the area.

Someone arrived at his house at 8 minutes after he called 911.

This was for a property theft call, in which no weapons were involved.

But politicians expect better service than the rest of us can expect. And then there is the politics…

There was no reference during the county officials’ discussion about a dispute between the city and county regarding city officials’ recent decision not to make its annual $405,630 payment to the county for the 911 center.

So how does that work? I can just decide not to pay my property taxes? I don’t think so. But then politicians don’t believe that the rules apply to them.

And yes, if you call 911 they are going to ask you a bunch of questions. They are going to REPEATEDLY ask for your address.

It matters what is happening, but emergency personnel need to know where to go.

Screaming at the 911 call-taker is not going to help your situation.

Security Cameras Do Not Make You Safe

Is this really something that needs to be said? Apparently. WATCH: Security camera captures couple shot at by car burglars.

Violent criminals don’t stop being violent criminals because you are shouting about your security cameras.

So some people were trying to break into his car or cars.

Surveillance cameras around his home detected motion, so he investigated.

He was unarmed; they were armed. Can you guess what happened next?

The homeowner was grazed by a bullet on the shoulder but refused medical attention.

The suspects have not been detained or identified at this time.

He is lucky he didn’t get shot in the head for his trouble.

Okay, I often go on about how you can wait a really long time for a response to a 911 call, and you need to be prepared to take action yourself, but that is in cases where your life is in danger. When property is in danger of being stolen, just call 911 and wait. What did going outside accomplish for this guy? He almost got killed, and he now has bullet damage to the brickwork at the front entrance to his home.

Yes you need to be prepared. And yes being prepared doesn’t mean you should act recklessly. Property theft is one of the many reasons you have insurance.

Politicians and the Advice They Give

They are experts in everything. Just ask them, and they will tell you so. Brooklyn woman, 33, dies two weeks after she was shot eight times when she asked a man to stop setting off fireworks in the neighborhood.

First the advice.

Last month Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said that setting off illegal fireworks is a ‘nonviolent act’ and urged residents to ‘go talk to the young people or the people on your block who are using fireworks’ instead of calling 911 or 311.

What could go wrong?

But when [Shatavia] Walls did so, it ended up costing her life.

She told a man, who has not been identified, to stop with the pyrotechnics. He left and returned with a gun and shot at Walls and Hernandez as they tried to run away.

She was shot 8 times on July 7th, and she died on July 17th.

So will Eric Adams be held to any level of responsibility? Will he apologize? Will he even admit that he is wrong? He has gone to pontificating about the recent surge in gun violence; I don’t think he knows who Shatavia Walls was. I am sure he doesn’t care. (How can dwelling on this death help him politically?)

So just remember… Politicians are experts, even when they haven’t got a clue.

Life in a Cop-free Zone

Burglaries? Arson? Calling the cops is a sign of privilege, or something.

First up… Seattle man living in CHOP sounds alarms over safety: ‘We’re sitting ducks in here’.

“We are just sitting ducks all day,” Matthew Ploszaj told Seattle-based KIRO 7. “Now every criminal in the city knows they can come into this area, and they can do anything they want, as long as it isn’t life-threatening. And the police won’t come in to do anything about it.”

Ploszaj said he called 911 after witnessing a burglar break into his courtyard and steal a bike, the outlet reported. Then he said the dispatcher told him there was “nothing we can do” unless someone’s life is in danger.

Then there is arson. “Nobody showed up”: 911 calls bring no response after break in at auto shop near Capitol Hill protest zone.

They caught a guy who tried to burn down their business. They managed to put the fire out, but they are inside CHOP.

“At some point he tried to cut me with a box cutter,” Mason said. He pointed to a large rip on his jeans from where the knife cut just his pants.

McDermott said he kept trying to call 911

“I’m told 19 times,” he said. “They alluded they were sending someone… finally said they weren’t going to send somebody,” McDermott said.

“I don’t know what to expect next. If you can’t call the police department, you can’t call the fire department to respond, what do you have?” McDermott said.

Cops wouldn’t come. The mob descended and they had to let the guy go. Justice? What’s that? (Hat tip to Wirecutter.)

The people who live in CHAZ CHOP (when did they change the name?) didn’t get a vote on being in a cop-free zone. They just have to live with the conditions that prevail. Which is pretty much being left on your own. (see the quote from Hobbes’ The Leviathan after the break.) And CHOP does refer to the The Reign of Terror in France in 1793, in which 17,000 people were guillotined.

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Another County Struggles to Deal with 1990s Tech

A couple of weeks old, but still worth a look. Wright County Receives Grant To Get Closer To Completion Of Next Generation 911.

And by “Next Generation” they mean those newfangled cellular telephones that everyone is using now.

For almost a decade, Minnesota has been in the process of creating an enhanced Next Generation 911 emergency calling system. Catching up with the challenges created with technological advancements that don’t use the traditional means of accessing the 911 system – computers and wireless devices – the need was identified to get past the antiquated landline phone system used to identify callers when the 911 system was created and those advanced technologies didn’t exist

“I’m gonna party like it’s 1999” is running thru my head right now.

Hey, points for trying. You would have gotten more points if you hadn’t waited 30 years to see if this technology was going to catch on.

For those not paying close attention, 2 things happened in 1991. The 2G specification (GSM) was written and released, and Sony introduced the lithium-ion battery. Nokia introduced their 1st cellular/GSM phone in 1992, and Motorola introduced the first cellular phone that was a Flip Phone (the Startac) in 1996.

This is the technology, together with GPS data, that cities and counties are struggling to deal with.

12 Minute Wait for 911 Response

That’s a long time to wait, and something bad did happen. Denver police eye 911 response time after killing.

Authorities were investigating Wednesday whether Denver police responded quickly enough to a woman who was fatally shot at least 12 minutes into a 911 call in which she said her husband was hallucinating and asking her to shoot him.

Cops got there just after her husband took a gun out of a safe and shot her in the head, killing her.

Calling 911 is a fine thing to do, it can bring all kinds of help, but you might want a plan for what you are going to do before they get there, because it might take them the rest of your life.

NYC – A Shortage of EMTs and an Increase in 911 Calls

The results are not shocking. New Yorkers are dying as ambulance response times surge amid coronavirus.

The statistics are a bit surprising though.

Understaffed and overwhelmed with coronavirus cases, EMS response times have doubled in the Bronx — to an excruciating 24 minutes and 55 seconds in March from the month before.

That’s for all responses, not just the most life-threatening. But even so… What’s the point of living in a hellhole like NYC if you can’t even get spectacular 911 response times?

All the stats are at the link above.

As for the EMS shortage, that article above links to one from January of 2019. NYC’s emergency worker shortage has become a crisis.

As some 900 FDNY paramedics and EMTs have left to become firefighters in the last year, the city’s ability to respond to medical emergencies has reached a crisis point, union leaders warn.

Over the last 12 months, official data show, the average time to reach people in cardiac arrest or choking rose by 24 seconds — an increase that can mean life or death.

The geniuses that run New York City have structured things so that EMTs cannot get ahead, and so those 900 left EMS to become firefighters, because their pay can increase substantially as firefighters.

So you have that situation as a baseline, and add in the COVID-19 insanity, and you get a completely predictable outcome.

COVID-19 Hits Emergency Response

Too bad the people of NYC won’t take the Coronavirus seriously. Law and order fears for NYC as nearly 10,000 NYPD and FDNY members call out sick amid a rise in burglaries.

  • 3,000 emergency medical technicians, paramedics and firefighters called out
  • The number of 911 calls being placed is among the highest ever recorded
  • More than 400 members of the FDNY have tested positive for the coronavirus
  • At the NYPD one in six are calling out sick – around 6,500 members in total

And this story doesn’t cover it, but others were dealing with the problems that 911 call centers are having, both with continuing staff turnover, and with COVID-19. Most emergency management call centers are not equipped to have people answer phones at home.

A Lesson in Scarcity of Resources

Or what happens when hospitals are overwhelmed? NYC Response Times Lag Because Ambulances Wait in Line at the ER.

New York City ambulances are taking almost three minutes longer than usual to respond to the most critical distress calls, mainly because of administrative bottlenecks in overwhelmed emergency rooms.

So all those kids who said they wouldn’t be impacted by COVID-19, had better hope they don’t get in a car accident, or get shot or stabbed, or get badly burned in a fire, or …

Oakland PD – Paperwork Causes 2-day Wait for 911 Response

Only a politician (or a political bureaucrat) would expect that a serious increase in paperwork wouldn’t take any time at all. Or impact 911 response. Oakland PD Abandons New Policy Which Left Cops Unable To Respond To 911 Calls.

They had to do all this extra paperwork for use-of-force. Hours of paperwork. During the same shift.

As a result, officers have been holed up writing reports for an average of two hours each shift, while high-priority calls for shootings, assaults, robberies, and other 911 calls continue to roll in.

“If you had your house broken into and you needed a police officer to show up, it’s not uncommon now for someone to wait two, three days for a police officer to show up,” OPD Lieutenant Bryan Hubbard told the East Bay Times.

That is procedural insanity at its finest. So after only 2 weeks (or so) the policy was dumped. That is perhaps the MOST amazing thing about this story.

“I don’t think anybody anticipated this,” Oakland Police Commission Chair Regina Jackson said of the reporting policy.

In the words of Bugs Bunny, “What a maroon.”

8 Hour Response Time to 911 Call

And the caller made it clear that an assault was in progress. 911 caller draws attention to police response time after murder of Milwaukee mom, daughters.

Relying on “The System” to protect you in an emergency is a losing strategy.

“It was like a lot of loud thumps against my bedroom wall,” Lee said.

She heard a woman, who she eventually learned was Amarah Banks, crying for help.

“So I jumped up, I grabbed my phone, and I called 911.”

Cops didn’t show up until the next day, to draw their usual chalk outlines around a mother and her daughters.

Now maybe a quick response wouldn’t have saved this woman. But 8 or 9 hours? That is insane. And a quick response would have been measured in minutes.

No one in “authority” is saying anything. “We can’t do shit until after the trial” is not quite what they said. But it’s what they meant. And they are hoping that in 2 or 3 years after the murder trial, this will have been forgotten.

It’s also possible that a gun, either in the dead-woman’s hands, or in her neighbors’ hands might not have changed the outcome. There are no guarantees in this life. But expecting the cops to save the day is beyond wishful thinking, it is delusional.

Electronics Form Part of Your Infrastructure

And anyone who purchased a smartphone in the past 5 years knows that technology isn’t cheap. Public safety committee considering new Hawkins Co. emergency communication equipment after major malfunctions.

As Miller explained, Hawkins Co.’s radio communication equipment, which is used by law enforcement, EMS and fire departments within the county, has been malfunctioning off and on since the beginning of November and has been completely offline since Dec. 18.

Nothing lasts forever, and that includes electronic communications gear. In this case, however, while they talk about recent outages, it isn’t clear that the radio system deployed ever really lived up to what the county needed.

Areas around Clinch and Slate Hill had poor to no service even when the communication was properly functioning.

Replacing the radio system will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

When you call 911 for a crime situation, you are counting on police to come and save your ass, but if officers can’t communicate with each other, or the 911 dispatch center, there are so many more opportunities for things to go wrong. They will move slow, and they may not have all the messages you’ve given the dispatcher. You don’t have to imagine all the ways that can go bad, all you have to do is read the news.

911 Response: 20 Minutes in Austin, 2 Hours in Fargo

If your plan in the event of bad things happening is to call 911, you probably should come up with a plan for what are you going to do while you wait?

First up, Austin, Texas. Austin Police Open Internal Investigation Into South Congress Stabbing.

It’s unclear at this point whether or not the total response time – 20 minutes from when 911 was called until the officer arrived on-scene – is unusual for an early Monday morning call, but an APD spokesperson confirmed to the Chronicle that the internal review would also look at that question

Shift change? Who knows. (Not them.)

Then there is the problem of snow storms. It took deputies 2 hours to respond to a domestic during a blizzard. Now the sheriff’s buying a plow.

Somehow I thought this would have been taken care of by now.

Cass County Sheriff Jesse Jahner said he was “nervous” during the raging Dec. 29 blizzard when his department had a call from a woman in the rural part of the county who said she and her young child were hiding in the bathroom from her husband during a domestic dispute.

Because of the weather, they had to call out a county employee to drive a snow plow. Now they are going to have their own on the front of a pickup.

The sheriff had actually budgeted for this item, but he switched to a “v-blade” after that incident, which costs more, so he needed an extra 3 grand or so.

Calling 911 is a fine thing to do, but they won’t be there in an instant. You should plan for what you are going to do in the meantime. You may be waiting a long time.

The Future Is Stupid

UPDATE: OK that link is toast. Try this… Homeowners in North Carolina called 911 to report an intruder. It turned out to be a rogue Roomba. Quotes might not be the same…

What has happened to the people of this country? Couple calls 911 on intruder that turns out to be their Roomba.

Minutes after they called 911, police entered the home and began to search for an intruder. When the 911 operator told Milam to go downstairs to talk to the police, he said, the officers just had one question.

“Is this Roomba yours?”

Police had apprehended the suspect: the couple’s brand new robotic vacuum.

Stop the world, I want to get off.

20 Minute Wait After 911 Call

Took 3 tries just to get a real person. Miami Woman’s 911 Call Sent to Voicemail Twice.

OK. Not really voicemail. Just the “Please hold on” message because you’re in a queue. (Note: You should NOT hang up and call back, you will be – once again – dumped to the back of the queue.)

Once they got through, the emergency crew took a wrong turn.

As for the 20-minute response time, emergency responders literally took a wrong turn. Carroll says they turned down NE 69th Street, right off Biscayne Boulevard, when they should have continued to NE 76th Street. The responders were forced to turn around and travel a few blocks north. The result was a response time more than double the city’s average of eight to ten minutes.

Everything worked out OK, but it could have been much different.

Calling 911 is fine thing to do. They can send all kinds of help your way. But the “system” is in large part made up of people, and people make mistakes. You should probably consider what you would do, during that time you are waiting, and you should think about all the different situations that might cause you to call 911. (Need First Aid. A Fire. A violent crime. Etc.)

What If You Called 911, And They Sent Rescuers to The Wrong Address?

The “system” is mostly people, after all. Dispatch error causes delayed response to house fire in Montgomery County.

Last week, a call went in for the report of smoke to 2005 Prichard Road in Wheaton. Officials say when the initial dispatch went out, the dispatcher misunderstood the caller and entered the address as 2005 Piccard Drive in Rockville. As a result, Montgomery County Fire and Rescue crews responded to the wrong address, delaying their response time.

This was fire; it could have been police just as easily.

Officials are “reviewing” to make sure this doesn’t happen again. Good luck with. “Humans working here are not allowed to make mistakes.”

Calling 911 is a fine thing to do, they can send all kinds of help your way, but that help won’t arrive instantly. Maybe you need something in you plan, in addition to “Call 911.”

SFPD Cooks the Books on 911 Response Time

They aren’t the first, and probably won’t be the last, department to do so. SFPD finds crime response times longer than thought. So it adds to its goal.

For years San Francisco has been clocking the average response time to serious crimes at 5.5 minutes, when in fact it takes a median time of 7 minutes from when the 911 call is made for police to arrive on the scene, according to revised calculations just released in a joint Police Department and city controller’s report.

So since they are making it to “serious crimes” in 7 minutes they set a stretch goal of being there in 8 minutes. (Way to beat those metrics!)

This article is not clear at all, but that minute and a half are usually time for the call to be answered, relevant data to be collected. (Place, nature of help needed) and for a cop to be dispatched. Travel time of the cop to the scene will depend on traffic, etc.

Continual improvement? Not so much. Resting on your laurels? Maybe, though if you are penalized for not meeting goals, they should be goals you have a chance to meet, and the circumstances should be completely in you control. (Traffic is not something that is in an officer’s control.)

Never Underestimate the Power of Human Stupidity

Your missing a meeting is NOT a freaking emergency. Woman calls 911 for ’emergency ride service’ after taxi fails to show. And while this is Toronto, do you think it is any better in New York?

She was told to call another cab.

While most people would chuckle and simply shake their heads, police say these types of calls tie up valuable resources and actually increases the risk of public safety.

“It delays the response time for police, firefighters, paramedics to attend actual emergencies,” adds Const. Sarah Patten.

Const. Akhil Mooken says police received more than 180,000 improper calls from the start of January to the end of October this year.

Those 180,000 calls have to be answered by people who should be dealing with violent crimes, fires or medical emergencies.

The quote that forms the title to this post is from the novel Time Enough for Love, by Robert A. Heinlein, published in 1973.

The Way 911 Is Supposed to Work

But seldom does. Armed robbery suspects in custody minutes after stickup.

Two masked miscreants enter a store and point guns at the clerk behind the register. A second clerk hid, and dialed 911. Cops converged on the area.

[Thomasville Police Department Criminal Investigations Division commander, Lt. Toby] Knifer said that as the trooper approached the men, they ran through the soccer field. Lindquist entered from the other side of the field on Ben Grace Drive.

“The trooper was pushing suspects straight to him (Lindquist),” Knifer said.

The suspects reached Lindquist’s location, were ordered to the ground and held at gunpoint.

Handguns and money were recovered from the men. Knifer said police believe they also recovered the money taken from the store.

The men were in custody at 7:47, less than five minutes after the 911 call.

They were tied to a similar robbery in a neighboring jurisdiction, and are facing charges for that as well.

Calling 911 rarely works out this well, or at least when it does, it doesn’t end up in the news. So hats off to Thomasville, Georgia police department, for being on top of their game, and for getting 2 miscreants, who might have probably would have killed someone soon enough, off the street.