Are You Prepared to Wait 90 Minutes for a Response to Your 911 Call?

This was a call about an active home-invasion. Memphis father says delayed 911 response time put his family at risk |

A mother was home with her 2 children when someone started breaking in. That was at 4:45pm. At 4:47pm a second call was made to inform dispatch that the mother was home with 2 kids, and someone was breaking in. A 3rd call was placed at 5:05. At 6:06 officers were available, and they arrived at the house at 6:18.

That is 93 minutes between the 1st call and response.

Calling 911 is a fine thing to do, but if that is the only thing you are prepared to do, then you might want to reconsider your planning. They can’t send someone charging to your rescue, if they are all busy on other calls.


What If You Called 911 and They Hung Up on You?

Because the operator “didn’t want to talk.” Ex-Houston 911 operator guilty of hanging up on thousands of callers – CBS News

Calling 911 is fine thing to do. They can send police, and fire or emergency medical personnel. But they can also ignore you.

Prosecutors from the Harris County district attorney’s office say she worked as a 911 operator for a year and a half, ending in 2016. Records showed that thousands of calls lasting less than 20 seconds were attributed to her hanging up. She was fired after a supervisor noticed the unusual number of “short calls.”

She faced misdemeanor charges of interfering with 911 calls and was sentenced to 10 days in jail, and 18 months probation.

Williams told investigators she often hung up because she didn’t want to talk to anyone at those times.

Calling 911 is fine thing to do, but if that is the ONLY thing you are prepared to do, then you might want to rethink that strategy. (Hat Tip to It Ain’t Holy Water.)

Detroit’s 911 System Is No Longer a Complete Joke

I would say it has a way to go. Detroit 911 emergency system comes long way from pop-can-rigged fax machine |

While under bankruptcy in 2014, a Detroit fire station rigged an emergency alert system using a pop can and a fax machine. It made national news.

Dispatchers would fax details of an emergency to the firehouse. As the fax printed out, a strategically placed pop can would be knocked to the floor, make noise and alert nearby firefighters.

Somewhat functional if completely insane. And that came with a 30 minute response time for high priority police calls and nearly that long for EMS.

Today things are better. 12 minute response time for police and 8 minutes for EMS. Those are averages. A lot of bad things can happen in 12 minutes, and you can die in 8 minutes if the circumstances are bad.

Detroit is a VERY large city. Geographically one of the largest in the US. (It may be the largest, but I won’t commit to that.) I think they did a lot of annexing in their heyday. Today with population (and taxes) down, all that real estate makes it hard to get cops and medics anywhere in a hurry. Still it is better than 30 minutes.

Calling 911 is a fine thing to do, but even if you can call 911 before bad things happen you are going to wait for a while. Maybe you will wait for a very long while.</p.

What If You Called 911 and They Didn’t Send Anyone?

Three calls to 911, over more than half an hour, before they bothered to dispatch anyone. Homeowner questions police response time after agitated stranger barges in | CTV News

The Brandon Police Service says the first 911 call came in at 6:44 p.m. that night, the second call was made at 7:09, and the third call at 7:24 p.m.

Officers were dispatched to the home at 7:24 p.m. and arrived minutes later, at 7:33 p.m.

That is the next best thing to 45 minutes for police to respond to a 911 call. 45 minutes is a very long time when you have an upset/paranoid (and maybe high on drugs) individual in your home. A lot of very bad things can happen.

Calling 911 is a fine thing to do. They can send fire, and emergency medical personnel and they can send police. Can being the operative work. Sometimes the system won’t work. Sometimes there won’t be anyone available to send. So what are you going to do while you wait. Better to think about that now, then when you are in the middle of an emergency.

Tech News Roundup. Tesla, Hacking 911, Another Data Breach

There is too much insanity for individual posts….

First we have Tesla. Someone conducted a very unscientific test, but was able to reproduce some of the behavior reported prior to the latest crash.

They want you to believe it was the driver, or a broken part. I think the real reason is that auto-driving cars are not quite ready for prime time. Video shows Tesla Model S Autopilot veering towards barrier where fatal crash occurred – SlashGear

Unfortunately the part that seems to be broken in this video is the autopilot. Not a scientific test, but with 2 data points that line up….

Will be interesting to see if anyone else does something similar.

This is an easy prediction: Attacks on cities and on 911 infrastructure will continue for the foreseeable future.

Cities remain a tempting target for hackers. Cities continue to be vulnerable. (They love to put stuff on the intertubes, but they don’t love to pay for security.) Hackers have taken down dozens of 911 centers. Why is it so hard to stop them?

There have been 184 attacks on cities in the past 2 years.

911 centers have been directly or indirectly attacked in 42 of the 184 cases on SecuLore’s list, the company says. Two dozen involved ransomware attacks, in which hackers use a virus to remotely seize control of a computer system and hold it hostage for payment.

It doesn’t say how many of those attacks were WannaCry, or one of the variants patched by Microsoft last year, but I think it probably fair to say that at least some of those attacks were the result of city managers ignoring pleas from their IT staff to upgrade old systems. Some of them are denial of service and some of them like the hack of Atlanta are newer problems.

As long as managers and people responsible for paying the bills don’t think security is important, we will have more attacks on 911 centers, more retailers will have their systems hacked, and more people who want to buy something or schedule a vacation or get help in an emergency will pay the price.

And finally, the latest retailer to prove that they shouldn’t be trusted with your credit card (or other) information is Panera.

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Another case of SWATting. Another Clueless Police Department.

You would think that by now cops in every part of the country would be aware of the fact that fake 911 calls are a thing. Northwestern incident points to spread of “swatting” |

So the latest incident took place on the campus of Northwestern University.

“Not to the best of my recollection have we dealt with a hoax of this level before,” Evanston Police Commander Ryan Glew said following Wednesday’s incident on Chicago’s North Shore.

If police departments are not going to adjust to the new reality of fake 911 calls, until after each department has dealt with at least 1 such call, then a lot of innocent people are going to be killed by cops “afraid for their lives” while dressed in full SWAT gear, and hiding behind a vehicle. (As is pretty much what happened in the recent death in Kansas.)

Here’s a clue Evanston (several, in fact): Northwestern is a university. A lot of university students play video games. A lot of fake 911 calls originate as disputes over gaming. Can you add 2 and 2? Can you connect some dots? Or are you just fucking brain-dead?

The “unfortunate reality” of calling 911

Calling 911 is a fine thing to do. It can send all kinds of help, but that help won’t be there in an instant. Hit-and-run victim says police took 50 minutes to respond to 911 call | CTV Toronto News

A pedestrian was hit by a car, in a hit-and-run accident. It took police 50 minutes to arrive on the scene.

Discussing the incident with CP24 on Wednesday, Toronto Police Association President Mike McCormack called it a “troubling” example of the cost of a reduction in front-line officers due to the ongoing modernization of the Toronto Police Service.

“Unfortunately this has become the norm in the city, the lack of staffing, the lack of resources,” he said. “We are in a crisis and this is something that has to be addressed.”

Calling 911 is a fine thing to do, but you should realize that the response time is going to depend on any number of things. What else is going on in the city. The number of officers on shift. Even the time of day can have an impact.