Tag Archives: detroit 911

Inside Detroit’s 911 Call Center

I was watching the news last night when an interesting story about Detroit’s 911 call center came on. The following was taken from myfoxdetroit.com:

Inside Detroit’s 911 Call Center

By SIMON SHAYKHET
myFOXDetroit.com

DETROIT – Most people will never get to see the inside of the Detroit 911 call center. So, what really happens when you call 911 from your phone? We’re asking the tough questions.

It can feel like a roller coaster. Thousands of calls for help pouring in every day.

“In 45 minutes, I’ve gotten a hundred calls,” said Annette Day.

She is one of the best. Day is also one of 16 to 20 working during a typical shift at the call center, which averages 1.7-million calls each year.

“I believe we have made several improvements over the past couple years, and we’ll continue to,” said Detroit Police Commander Russell Decrease.

The improvements, such as quality monitoring, come at a time of tough criticism; citizen reports of hour long waits and being placed on hold.

However, ask these workers and you get a different story. Their numbers show only 30-percent of the calls they get are actual emergencies. As for the rest…

“Of those 70-percent, over half of them are prank calls,” Decrease said.

Also, factor in the false alarms coming from businesses. Then consider a call on a stolen car competing with danger to human life.

“Every time another run comes in where somebody’s life or safety is in danger, that run is going to wait longer,” said Decrease. “If somebody gets the recording, they will hang up. When they hang up, they don’t realize that they instantly go to the back of the line again.”

“We do care about them. We are working hard here to help service them and get them the help they need,” Day said.

However, she admits they need more hands on deck.

“We don’t have enough operators. We don’t have enough police or EMS (techs),” said Day.

The city is hiring 15 more operators this month. They still claim a two to three minute dispatch time for life threatening calls, and less than ten minutes from that to a unit on scene anywhere.

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Man Found Frozen In Ice At Bottom Of Elevator Shaft

 

In January 2009, a man in his mid 50s named Johnnie Redding was found frozen in several feet of ice at the bottom of an elevator shaft in the Detroit Public School Warehouse (also known as the Roosevelt Warehouse). This is the building next to Michigan Central Train Depot. The River Rouge resident was discovered by some kids playing hockey on the floor in the basement which had flooded and frozen over. The police thought it was a hoax and never responded to the first call.

Apparently, the body had been just sitting in the bottom of the shaft for weeks. None of the numerous homeless people living inside the warehouse bothered to call the police. Even after the authorities were notified(multiple times), it was several days before anyone came out. It took a jackhammer to remove the body, who was later identified by his wallet.

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Officials say that Johnnie killed himself. His autopsy revealed no broken bones, no wounds and no water in his lungs, which means he did not fall into the flooded shaft and drown. Most likely, Johnnie was smoking cocaine with somebody and died, coroners suspect. Johnnie’s party pal may have panicked and tossed his body down the water-filled shaft.

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Devil’s Night

Hi all! It’s been a few weeks since my last post, and considering today is Halloween, I figured it’s the perfect time to talk about Devil’s Night. If you live in Detroit, you already know what this is. Locally, the night before Halloween is known as “Devil’s Night”… other parts of the country call it mischief night. For most people across the country, this night is known for kids going out and egging, TP’ing, ding-dong-ditch, and petty pranks. Leave it to the fine folks of Detroit to step it up a few notches by burning down hundreds of buildings every year on this night!

It wasn’t always this bad, though. Not too long after the riots in 1967, which resulted in the phenomenon known now as white flight (all the whites left Detroit and moved to the suburbs because they no longer felt safe in the city), the minor crimes and acts of petty vandalism soon escalated to much more devastating acts like arson in the early 1970s. The inner city neighborhoods took the brunt of the destruction, which peaked in the mid 1980s with more than 800 fires set in 1984, and 500 to 800 fires in the three days and nights before Halloween in a typical year.

Although the number of fires had begun to decline in the 1990s, the threat of fires still loomed every year. After Devil’s Night in 1994, which saw over 200 fires and killed a 1 year old girl, then mayor Dennis Archer promised city residents arson would not be tolerated. In 1995, Detroit city officials organized and created Angel’s Night on and around October 29-31. Each year as many as 50,000 volunteers gather to patrol neighborhoods, which has drastically reduced the number of fires.

The numbers for this year’s Devil’s Night wont be released for another 48 hours, but thus far only 11 suspicious fires were reported from 9pm Thursday to 6am Friday. The city averages 10 to 20 suspicious fires a day anyways, so it would seem Detroit has finally quelled the infamous Devil’s Night arsons. My theory, though: They’ve already burned every structure other than their own homes, and therefore there is nothing left to burn. Of course, I am kidding… there is no shortage of abandoned buildings in Detroit!

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