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Cleveland: Dispatcher's "lack of empathy" to Amanda's 9-1-1 call

5:44 AM, May 8, 2013   |    comments
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CLEVELAND, OH -- When Amanda Berry called 9-1-1, her voice was full of desperation, pleading with a dispatcher to send police to rescue her and her fellow captives as quickly as possible.

But many on social media said the dispatcher responded in a way that brought many social media complaints about a seemingly brusque or indifferent attitude.

Cleveland Safety Director Marty Flask quickly decided the dispatcher showed a lack of sensitivity and empathy.

He called the police official in charge of dispatcher training to address the problem, which could include retraining or counseling for the dispatcher.

The dispatcher seems perturbed because Amanda is calling from a different address than the one she is giving.

Police Commander Thomas Stacho who is in charge of dispatch operations stresses dispatchers must get the correct exact address to get help where it is needed.

But he says the four-year veteran dispatcher "dropped the ball." by not keeping Amanda on the line and being more reassuring and sensitive.

Flask said the young dispatcher may not have known who Amanda Berry is or been familiar with her story.

Overall, police response on the case was excellent. The first police car on the scene arrived around a minute and a half after the first 9-1-1 call.

And the trio of women were rescued within about six and a half minutes of that call.


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