King County Sheriff’s Office opens a review of the Richard Sherman 911 call

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The 911 call made by Richard Sherman‘s wife last week raised plenty of concerns regarding the attitude and demeanor of the person who responded.

The City of Redmond, Washington has received plenty of those complaints. On Monday, the City of Redmond police department issued a statement aimed at getting people to realize that the call in question went not to the city, but to the county.

“The Redmond Police Department has received a series of misdirected complaints following the release of 911 audio from last week’s arrest of Richard Sherman,” the statement explains. “Online petitions and social media comments have raised questions about how the King County Sheriff’s Office handled initial 911 calls from unincorporated King County.

“Many have mistakenly associated those calls to the City of Redmond’s Communications Center, which is not connected to the King County Sheriff’s Office. The City of Redmond was not involved in the recordings highlighted by the complaints. The King County Sheriff’s Office, in response to public comment, opened an administrative review of this matter that will take several months to conclude.”

And there’s the real headline. The City of Redmond publicly has disclosed that King County has initiated a review of the call. (As it should.)

“I am proud of the actions of our Redmond Police personnel involved with this incident, including the very professional work of our emergency communications specialists,” Redmond Police Chief Darrell Lowe said in the statement. “When listening to the Redmond 911 calls, you will hear the voices of the two male Redmond 911 specialists who remained calm and were empathetic and supportive of the caller in a time of crisis.”

And, yes, that’s a slap at the manner in which the King County Sheriff’s Office handled the 911 call that it received.

The criticism is deserved. The person who answered the call — and who KNEW it was being recorded — seemed impatient and combative and unhelpful. She didn’t listen, and she didn’t seem to want to listen. Whatever the reason, it’s not the way that calls like that should be handled.

12 responses to “King County Sheriff’s Office opens a review of the Richard Sherman 911 call

  1. I thought she did a great job. She notified law enforcement right away and tried to de escalate the situation.

    Lets not try to deflect from who actually created the danger in this situation to the public. That was Sherman.

  2. That 911 operator was absolutely terrible. Thankfully it got resolved without someone dying.

  3. As it should. The cheap excuse of ‘gathering information’ is just that, cheap. The dispatcher was rude and unnecessarily condescending and that provides no needed information, just grief. She should find a new line of work.

  4. A process has been initiated, let it play out. But in my IMO you have to have better communication skills for that job. If the employee can’t handle those responsibilities I’m sure there is a nonpublic interaction role that could be taken up so she’s out of a role she’s ill suited for. And no one loses gainful employment. But she can’t be the person whose on the other side of the phone during emergencies.

  5. King County obviously preparing for impending lawsuit it has brought upon itself.

  6. The 911 Operator was only interested in controlling the narrative as she saw fit.. Looking for any excuse to place the caller on the defensive and minimize the urgency of the moment. The caller was frightened, attempting to get services provided and the operator was more interested in reprimanding and picking a fight with the caller at every opportunity. She was a disgust to all 911 operators who work their rear ends off providing services for those in desperate situations. She should be fired on the spot. I understand they have opened an investigation on her conduct and stated the investigation will “take months”.. Just a smokescreen by Kings County to use time to put horrible service delivery to sleep with a long winded investigative process. Just listen to the call. Nothing more is needed or required to come to a fair determination of abhorrent, unprofessional behavior that should result in termination.

  7. The highly stressful job of being a first responder and 911 operator/dispatcher is often criticized by the Monday Morning Quarterback crowd without having all of the surrounding facts, circumstances and experiences needed to qualify in making a properly informed conclusion on the specific performance. However, in this case, like a few other recent instances, the initial gut feeling on improper performance is “self evident.” This isn’t criminal, like some others, but it is extremely poor performance and needs to be corrected.

  8. The 911 operator was pretty curt. She needed to find out details that were important to relay to the responding officers. Does he have a weapon.. pretty important. Is he combative and fighting with people.. pretty important. Is he intoxicated… pretty important. She did her job without empathy. SO WHAT! Her responsibility is to get the right resources to the scene so everyone can be safe. Domestic incidents are very dangerous for responding officers there is no time to powder the callers butts.

  9. See PFT article:
    Kam Chancellor thinks he was profiled after [Redmond] cops called on him.
    Posted by Darin Gantt on March 7, 2016

    “looking inside through the windows. He said he was interested in buying the property”
    “He was five blocks away when the police pulled him over”

  10. This is nothing new to anybody who watches True Crime videos. 911 calls are frequently horrible. If they’re not rude they’re totally clueless or so into their script they don’t listen to what the caller is actually saying. There are multiple examples out there of people finding dead bodies and the 911 operator asking to talk to the dead person.

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