E-911 receives few complaints

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

City Council members may be getting complaints about police response times, but the E-911 center has received very few.

In fact, the E-911 center has only received about three complaints in recent history, according to Richard Bean, head of the E-911 center.

Two came from outside the county. The third came from the city. A local resident called the center about a barking dog and was upset because the animal wasn’t removed.

Bean said Tuesday that he was &8220;disappointed&8221; that the Selma City Council didn’t bring complaints reported by council members at Monday’s meeting.

Bean said that until his office received notice of those complaints, there wasn’t much he could do about it.

He said that whenever the center does receive a complaint, it’s taken very seriously.

The E-911 center keeps recordings of all of its calls. So when people do lodge a complaint, Bean said, he can listen to the recordings and determine whether a dispatcher responded improperly to a call.

Bean said that in considering the most recent complaints, he didn’t discover any evidence of wrongdoing on the part of his dispatchers.

He said that in the past, however, police officers and deputies have been delayed in responding to calls. Not by any fault of their own, Bean said.

Bean said sometimes citizens need to realize that some calls take priority over others. Even then, his dispatchers don’t assign priority to any given call. All calls are dispatched as they come in.

He said it’s very easy for a number of officers to get into a situation where they can’t respond to calls.

Bean also said that emergency callers should always dial 911.

He said the number mentioned by council members &045; 874-6611&045; is not an emergency line.

Even so, the number, an information line, is staffed by 911 dispatchers. He said even in emergency situations, his dispatchers are willing and able to handle it.

Just like all the other calls handled by dispatch, Bean said, calls to the information line are recorded and can be reviewed if a complaint is filed.

To file a complaint with the E-911 center, contact Bean at 872-4712.