Deputy Apologizes for Handling of 911 Call
Published August 7th, 2013
VOLUSIA COUNTY - A Volusia County deputy is in hot water after taking a frantic call from a young girl and then not staying on the phone with her until authorities arrived.
A 13-year-old girl, who was home alone on Thursday, called 911 and said she believed that someone was trying to break into her home.
"Did you hear knocking or just the door knob itself," the dispatcher asked during the call.
"I heard someone, it was like shaking," the girl replied.
The young girl spoke with the dispatcher for about four minutes, but then the dispatcher ended the conversation before deputies arrived.
"You going to stay in your room?" the dispatcher asked the girl.
"Yeah," the girl replied.
"I don't need to keep you on the phone the while time because it will take the units a couple of minutes to get there," the dispatcher added before hanging up.
Sheriff's official said that the dispatcher was a sheriff's deputy filling in as a 911 operator, but had been trained and certified for the job.
Officials also added that the deputy has been reprimanded for getting of the phone with the terrified girl too soon.
"The call-taker should have stayed on the phone with her and kept her on the line until deputies arrived," said Gary Davidson of the Volusia County Sheriff's Office.
When deputies arrived, they found no suspects or signs that someone was trying to break in. But the girl's parents made a complaint, which has prompted the Sheriff's Office to review call handling procedures at its dispatch center.
Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson apologized to the family, according to officials with the Sheriff's Office.
Officials also said that the deputy who took the call feels bad about the way he handled the situation and will remain a dispatcher.
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