Letters to the Editor

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911: Place blame where it rightly belongs

Letter by Michael D. Evans, Puyallup on Feb. 13, 2012 at 1:46 pm with 6 Comments »
February 13, 2012 2:09 pm

Re: “Call-takers criticized for 911 calls in Powell tragedy” (TNT, 2-9).

It’s a very difficult time for the people in our community, following the tragedy of the Powell boys’ deaths. Thus, I try to be understanding of the emotions and desire to find someone to blame for such an incident.

In reality, there is someone to blame for this horrific event – Josh Powell. Attempts to lay blame on the 911 dispatchers, the case worker, the courts or anyone else is purely emotional, in my humble opinion.

Sure, 911 dispatchers might have immediately recognized this cell phone call as a real, immediate emergency. In hindsight it’s easy to recognize, but it’s not like history hasn’t led to the training these dispatchers receive to ask the questions, to assess with nothing more than a voice on the other end of the call, if it’s a situation that warrants dispatching emergency personnel.

Perhaps standard procedure should be to immediately begin the dispatch procedures whenever a caller indicates an emergency. Our community would only need to pony up the dollars to increase the police and emergency staffs by say – 10 times?

Perhaps also, technology to instantly locate any cell phone 911 caller should be implemented, no matter the complaints regarding invasion of privacy, although I doubt any of these would have likely changed the outcome of this event.

There doesn’t always have to be someone to blame. As a community, we should strive now to improve, within our means, not try to find someone other than the perpetrator to blame.

Leave a comment Comments → 6
  1. ReadNLearn says:

    When there’s such an urgent need to make excuses for this individual, then there’s definitely a problem.

  2. itwasntmethistime says:

    Read everything thoroughly, Michael, and you’ll see nobody is blaming the 911 call-taker for what Josh Powell did. They are blaming the 911 call-taker for acting like a jerk during the call.

  3. Gailmarie52 says:

    Then everyone listen again and get this If the address, smell of gas has been SHARED by the case worker… at the beginning of the call… it would have saved valueable time .. NOTHING WOULD HAVE SAVED THOSE CHILDREN… and all the bashing of the agency that serves this county WELL is ver sad …

  4. ReadNLearn says:

    This agency serves the community well, with this one exception. If we really want an ‘Enhanced 911′ we can get that easily. Fire this individual.

    Did you know that among LEO’s and dispatchers who read that transcript they thought this was some ad hoc contracted service and couldn’t believe it was a real operator from an Enhanced center???

    Do a search. This guy is a joke.

  5. igotdabombfool says:


    All those accusations and not a shred of evidence to prove it? Site your claims or go home.

  6. ReadNLearn says:

    Anyone who uses ‘site’ when ‘cite’ is intended isn’t intelligent enough to enter into this discussion.

    ‘Site your claims…’ is funny, are we mining here? That’s funny!

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