Friday, April 15, 2005

A little thing called tact...

I found this story on this site.

Lori came home to find her daughters fighting that Monday evening. Her 12-year-old had kicked a hole in the door, and the girls were hitting and throwing things at each other. She feared one or both would be seriously hurt.

She called 911 and asked for help. Her 12-year-old daughter was out of control, she told the call-taker."OK. Do you want us to come over to shoot her?" the dispatcher asked, according to a recording released this week.

For five seconds, the line went dead."Are you there?" the call-taker asked."Excuse me?" Lori said.Mike Forbess, a dispatcher of five years for the Watauga Department of Public Safety, then told her he was joking and apologized. But Lori cannot get his comment out of her head.

Hmmm... Something tells me that might have been inappropriate. But in Forbess' defense, he did apologize immediately and owned up to his supervisor immediately. That's not good enough for Lori though. She wants blood.

"This is a slap in the face that my child was not important enough, my call for help, my 911 call was not important enough that he had to make a joke about it," Lori said Monday. She asked that her last name not be used to avoid identifying her daughters, one of whom has emotional problems.

Forbess immediately told his supervisor about the call. He received a letter of reprimand two days later. Forbess received a second letter of reprimand from Chief David Van Laar on Monday, the same day the Star-Telegram obtained a copy of the 911 call recording, and of Forbess' disciplinary records. The mother, however, said her faith in the 911 system remains shaken. She said she plans to file a formal complaint. "I do not have words to tell you how shocked I am that someone is allowed to do this," she said. "You don't do people like this, and then get a slap on the wrist."

In his letter to Forbess, Van Laar wrote: "This type of response cannot be tolerated, and this letter shall serve as notice that any future unprofessional responses while answering the 911 line will be cause for termination."But the reprimand is not enough, the mother said.The next time she has an emergency, she said, she won't feel safe calling 911.

"This man does need to be disciplined," Lori said. "How can a person in this line of work be so unfeeling that he asked a person who needed help, 'Would you like us to come over and shoot your child?'"That's an interoffice disciplinary action," she said of the reprimands. "That doesn't do anything."

Wow, way to be reasonable lady. Yeah, Forbess was a moron for cracking a joke on a 911 line. He probably thought he was helping calm her down or diffuse some rage and instead he put his foot in his mouth. We all do it, it's part of life. He received reprimands and his job is on thin ice. That's plenty. But this lady acts like she is going to boycott 911.

Also, she talks about him being unfeeling in her time of crisis, but she has to realize that it looks like she is calling 911 to step in and parent for her. Her child is acting up and she gets afraid and calls the cops. Some people are bound to take it a little less seriously than, like, a fire, a murder, a rape, or a robbery. Have a little perspective Lori.

So if you guys were the Chief, what would you have done about this?

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