Sunday morning. Man physically forcing another man into a Jeep. I call 911. Dispatch is very polite and eager to help. I explain one male adult is pulling another male adult into a black Jeep at Stevenson Park and the license plate number is …

Reply: “I don’t show the location. Can you give a better location?”

“It’s at the corner of
Taylor and Lake.”

Reply: “Do you have an address?”

“It’s about 100 W.
Lake St.”

At this time I notice a police unit up the street and say, “There’s a unit up the street. I will check if a police officer is in it.” She says, “All right,” and I disconnect.

There is a sergeant in the unit and I tell him what is going on. He drives to the incident. Getting out, he tells the one man inside the Jeep to relax as the sergeant ascertains what is going on.

I know things can go wrong very quickly and waited until another unit arrived. I left after that, so I don’t know any more of the incident.

While the man was being pulled, he seemed to be reaching inside his pocket. It could have been a weapon. If things went from bad to worst and the sergeant was not up the street, it could have been 10 minutes before I could get the person to dispatch a unit to the corner of
Taylor and Lake. By that time, I think the person would have been gone.

I don’t know if the consulting firm that was hired to find out what needs to be improved with WestCom is on the job or not yet, but here is some free advice:

Rotate police officers, hire police officers or hire retired police officers for dispatch as the number one choice.

When a caller calls dispatch, what should dispatch do? First, what is the nature of the call? Second, what is the location? Now it’s time to dispatch. Dispatcher needs to keep caller on the phone to keep information flowing out to the police officers or firefighter/paramedics responding to the call.

Here’s a fun idea to spend a lot of money for villages who have deep pockets and like gadgetry-you can have a GPS on every emergency vehicle and personnel.

The benefit is when a call comes into dispatch, dispatch can input the address into the computer. The computer will automatically locate the closet units and personnel available to handle the call.

Eventually, personnel can carry devices that deliver information via wireless. This is an added benefit because personnel won’t need to radio back asking what the address was or any other information. It will all be on the personal device and updated as more information becomes available.

There is a drawback. The computer needs to know where the corner of
Taylor and Lake is.

Bill Maxwell

Oak Park

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