FALL GUY: City Blames Dispatcher For Slow Response Time; No Mention Of District Being In RAP Status

Thrown under the bus. It’s the Chicago way.

Hey, dispatcher. How ’bout checking the axles while you’re under that bus?

The city very quickly found the fall guy for that 20+ minute response time to a robbery near Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s house Saturday afternoon.

As CWB reported yesterday, the response was delayed largely due to the fact that the district was in Radio Assignment Pending status, meaning that no officers were available to handle the call.

So, who’s taking the fall?

No, it won’t be the politicians who’ve allowed our district to lose 26% of its police officers over the past two years.

Instead, according to a post on Everyblock, 47th ward alderman Ameya Pawar’s office says it’s the dispatcher’s fault.

At this point, it seems that the original call came into 911 at 3:21pm. The dispatcher failed to give that call to the police. Instead, police were not dispatched until 3:31pm. At that time, an officer answered the call and responded to the area to look for the offenders. After completing a search, the officer arrived on the scene at 3:48pm. 

The OEMC dispatcher has had a complaint filed against them and disciplinary procedures are in progress to ascertain what happened with the dispatch. 

No mention of being in RAP status, eh?

Well, the good folks of Ravenwood have now received the happy answer they were looking for – that the district couldn’t possibly have run out of officers. (Even though a 19th district sergeant confirmed that the RAP was still in effect less than 10 minutes before the robbery and the RAP wasn’t closed out until 6:36PM.) It was a dispatch error. Done and done!

That’s probably the answer Alderman Pawar would like everyone to go way with, too. After all, he sold his constituents a bill of goods by supporting the merger of the 19th and 23rd districts, telling them in October 2011,

“We’ve been reassured that merging districts is going to put more officers on the beat. So that’s a good thing.” 

As CWB readers know, that’s a crock of hooey, as the merged district has shed a quarter of its strength since the merger.

Now, would anyone in Ravenswood like to ask the obvious, uncomfortable question? If there were more officers available, why did only one car respond?

For comparison, someone at Hermitage and Montrose called 911 this afternoon to report a tanker truck got stuck in their alley. Three cars went.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com