- Officials at the Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) announced Thursday that two police dispatchers will face unpaid suspensions for failing to dispatch police units to a July 14 disturbance on the city's Southwest Side.
The investigation determined that the dispatchers failed to send police units to a reported disturbance at Durkin Park, 8445 South Kolin Ave.
"This incident is simply unacceptable," said Tony Ruiz, Executive Director of OEMC. "It is the nature of this incident, and the manner in which these dispatchers failed to do their jobs that demanded a stern response."
Should the dispatchers have recognized that something bad was happening at Durkin Park based on the tenor and volume of calls? Sure, and they ought to get tagged for it. But this is merely the end result of an undermanned Patrol Division and a failure of the leadership to adjust the arcane dispatching priority system. OEMC shouldn't be sending cars to every single EMS call. Or to "domestics" involving a 5 year old who won't eat his vegetables. Or getting cats out of bedrooms. The policy of sending the police in as social workers instead of law enforcement officers is shorting the community of proper police protection and officers of backup for hot calls. Reform starts at the call taking level.