Skip to comments.911 log shows time lapse in Powell emergency call
Posted on 02/09/2012 10:04:54 AM PST by Former Fetus
Nearly eight minutes elapsed between when a social worker called 911 to report that Josh Powell's children were in danger and when sheriff's deputies were dispatched, emergency call logs show. The home was a gas-fueled inferno - with Powell and his two young boys inside - by the time officers were on their way.
Several minutes of response time was lost when the priority of the dispatch Sunday was listed as "routine" instead of "emergency." There was nothing deputies could do when they arrived 14 minutes later.
After getting it straight, the dispatcher told her someone would come, though he wasn't sure when. Moments later, the house erupted in flames.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
What an awful experience that must have been for you! Yes, when you listen to the call, the social worker sounds very calm. So apparently being able to hold it together in an emergency gets you put on the low priority list for 911.
911 call doesn’t sound like someone watching 3 people die in a fire. Sounds like someone covering their sorry ass. Not to impressed with the 911 operator either. Told that Powell grabbed the kids and shut the door in this lame-o’s face asks “Do you think he did it intentionally?”
Fire the dispatcher. After this they cannot be trusted.
Most people who complain about police response time don’t realize or forget the step where that police have to be dispatched to a call by someone......sadly the requirements on ability and performance for dispatchers these days is about on par with unionized public school teachers. Most dispatchers shouldn’t be dispatchers.
There are many ‘public safety’ workers who do their very best in attempting to make quick decisions/judgements. Perhaps they should work in a ‘buddy’ system - where calls are monitored by another opinion; someone who can summon help rather than ask questions.
The Josh Powell situation was originally mishandled by the custody judge who should have insisted that visitations be in a neutral, public playground/restaurant or childcare center. As a ‘person of interest’ in his wife’s murder - Josh Powell’s name should have been on 911’s radar.
The woman assigned to the visitation supervision showed good judgement, reflexes and courage. She is just one more victim of Josh Powell’s evil.
Don’t want to excuse them-—but my understanding is 911 operators are trained to keep the caller on the line.
So what seems to be inane questions could be the way-—however inept-—to keep the caller talking.
Keep in mind, the 911 center does not know who is calling-—could even be a perp.
There might also a need to get directions in rural locations.
In some 911 centers when a person calls, the address and phone number where they are calling from appears on a screen.
In the Powell tragedy, the caller was obviously not at the address of the inferno.
Dang 911 system. I called form my cell phone a couple of weeks ago to report a foreign vehicle on my property.
I didn’t notice until about an hour after the situation was done that my cell phone was disabled. I could not use it or place a call. I had to power it off and reboot.
Big Brother has forced the cell companies into installing total control software into the phones I PAY FOR.
With some experience in this type of situation, why on earth was supervised visitation allowed at his home. I was given custody of my niece after her mothers suspicious death. All supervised visitations took place at the children’s service facility. He would visit her there, there was a two way window, where he was observed during the one hour visit. If this would have been the order, those kids would still be alive.
****911 call doesnt sound like someone watching 3 people die in a fire.****
She called before the fire exploded. She called because she smelled gasoline and Powell had locked the children in the house and would not let her inside. The killer beat the children before he set the house on fire. IMHO she showed remarkably good instincts and presence of mind. Her grace under pressure was misread by the dispatcher - perhaps she should have been more hysterical.
Oh yes. Let’s blame the social worker. We don’t know how long she knocked on the door trying to get back in. We need to continue to blame the dick who actually killed his kids and not start blaming others like we always do. There is no way even 8 minutes would have changed anything. I suppose I could be wrong but I doubt it.
The blame falls directly on the court system, who obviously knew this guy was capable of murder. Please read my post #9. There are measures that needed to be taken to protect these kids. But the court system and children’s service always protect the relationship between the parent and child. They rule “in the best interest of the child” which is a joke. Their liberal rules killed these boys.
Beat them? I thought he whacked them with an axe.
I’m curious. Did you ever call and report the domestic violence happening next door to you?
My question is what would Law Enforcement have accomplished had they responded and arrived before the house blew up? In similar cases of this type, the first thing LE tries to do is establish contact with the person/persons inside the home. Considering the father had planned his murder/suicide prior to the children arriving, I doubt LE would have been able to prevent him from carrying out his plan. The ONLY way to have saved the two boys would have been to deny the father access in the first place.
She could very easily have been inside that house. I used to be her in a pervious career. Never again. That's a dangerous job. You never know what you'll be walking into. You're out there by yourself and are at the mercy of these freaks every day and night. I had my eyes opened about judges. I don't trust any of them further than I can throw them. I never saw one make an intelligent decision.
Thanks for sharing. We have become very critical of ‘Government employees’ using the stereotype of overpaid cube squatting paper shufflers or interfering do gooders.
There are so many ‘government’ intrusions in our lives that we fail to separate the necessary from the useless. The foot soldiers are deserving of gratitude - the bureaucrats not so much.
“I don’t trust any of them further than I can throw them.”
I feel bad for the grandparents as well. It sounds like they were fearful for the kid’s safety, but also wanted to abide by the court’s ruling and the visitation. And assumed that with the case-worker there it would be okay.
As a law-abiding person most of the time I would probably have done the same thing. (The grandmother said the kids didn’t want to go, but she convinced them to go as she wanted to comply with the court order).
However, more and more I have been putting the safety of me and my family above what the law says. This sad case only furthers that thought.
Oh, the tales I could tell about how judges’ decisions put these kids at risk... I shouldn’t tell much on a public forum but I’ve posted this before. One time it was already known how the judge was going to rule which angered me and the hispanic community. They had the bruja put a curse on the judge and everyone involved. But not me, she had me sit with her to make a point to the judge. He didn’t even let us give the state’s side. He couldn’t be bothered. The judge left the little child with the abusive parents and put them in counseling with the priest who was also being brought on on similar charges. Does that not blow your mind?
It’s gotta be ridiculously difficult to be in any phase of law enforcement anymore what with the evil that lurks in our society today. How does a God fearing person even imagine what goes on in real life is possible.
That said, this is still more proof that when seconds count, the police are only minutes away. Arm up folks, if you haven’t already.
That’s the thing that puzzles me. She asks the dispatcher if they can pull the address from the cell phone’s location. The dispatcher says it’s not possible. I’m pretty sure there’s a charge every month on my cell phone bill for exactly that service. So, either the SW had a cell phone with no GPS (hard to believe), or we’re paying for a service that isn’t as “in place” as we’re being told. It doesn’t make sense that the SW would ask for something she knew wouldn’t be possible. Or maybe the SW didn’t know she had her phone’s GPS turned off, if it’s even possible to completely shut that off... That charge has been on my cell phone bill for a long time.
If the court is going to order supervised visitations for whatever reason, the judge should be smart enough to realize that it should be done in neutral territory that the non-custodial parent does not have any control over as a simple precaution.
That said, it probably would not have prevented this murder-suicide debacle. This murderer would have simply come up with a different plan to attack his children whether at school or the grandparents home.
It appears to me that the killer’s relatives have all been ignoring the elephant in the living room in regards to whatever dirty family secret that drove the killer’s homicidal familial control obsession. For that silence, they bear the burden of contributing to whole sorry tragedy.
Clearly incompetent for the task at hand.
From the second call: "There's two little boys in the house. They're 5 and 7, and there's an adult man ... he blew up the house and the kids!" she said, speaking calmly but urgently. "And you think he might have done it intentionally?" the dispatcher asked.
If supervised visitation is called for, you do it in controlled facilities. Barring that, you send someone that can kick down a door and drop a hammer on a violent perp.
The worst part of that night was that my neighbor had a 10 year-old girl from another marriage. I looked for her everywhere (yes, my footprints and fingerprints were all over the place) and when I couldn't find her, I knocked at the door of the next apartment. The lady was scared and would not open, just asked me what did I want, and I blurted out "Wanda is dead, Ralph has killed her and I cannot find Brooke" and I heard a scream. The little girl had ran to this other neighbor's apartment and was hiding there, in fear! What a way to find out! I'll never ever forget it!
Again, I think the 911 center was buying time.
Probably they were searching records to see if there were other situations at that address so that L/E could be prepared.
Looks to me like Powell knew all of this——and had rigged the house to erupt as soon as the little boys got there to evade L/E.
Wow. That is horrible. It’s a tragedy when law enforcement and/or the courts do not respond to such situations before someone is seriously hurt or killed. There are many states in the U.S. that have domestic violence laws which require the aggressor be arrested when a victim has obvious signs of abuse, whether the victim presses charges or not. This should be the law in all 50 states (or, if you are Barack Obama, all 57 states).
I don’t blame the social worker, but I do wonder about their indoctrination.
I’ve heard her on the radio all day saying “I did what was right”. It sounds like cya in that “doing right” was following the government guidelines.
She smelled gas, she heard screams. Doing right would have been busting into the home to protect the children. She sounded like she calmly went down the checklist of her job duties.
Maybe it’s male/female thing. I don’t know. My first reaction would have been to bust back in. Would I be dead too? Maybe. Don’t know the specifics of the explosion/fire to know if there was time.
Also, the system is crap. Why was this guy even allowed visitation given the circumstances? Looks like yet another sad story where left wing bureaucrats can’t face reality.
Once, I was working the complaint desk and a woman called and said that a man was beating a woman in the duplex next door. She said to hurry, "he's hurting her." This was before the domestic violence laws were enacted. I could have entered the call as a battery. That would have classified it as a misdemeanor and the dispatcher could have held the call for 20 minutes before dispatching it. Or I could have entered it as an ADW - Assault With a Deadly Weapon, which would have prioritized it and the dispatcher would then have 3 minutes to dispatch it. I had no information that a weapon was being used, all I had was the words "he's hurting her."
I entered it as an ADW and the dispatcher immediately put it out. As it was, one of our detectives was close by and he rolled to assist on the call. He went to the door and stepped in, and the suspect ran out the back. It turned out that there had been a rape in the area earlier in the day, and the suspect was at the duplex trying to rape another woman. If I had put the call in as a misdemeanor he would have succeeded.
They knew he had images on his computer depicting incestuous parent/child sex.
He should not have been near those boys. Period.
That isn’t the social worker’s fault...but somebody’s head should roll.
I made a lot of arrests for domestic violence but I never went to trial on a single one. Not one. I went to about two preliminary hearings, but no trials. I assume that in cases where the DA decided to file charges, a deal was made.
Wow. Good call.
Jim's daughter's ex is currently in prison in another state. The conviction was for attempted murder of his ex, Jim's daughter. Jim was visiting his daughter in that state, sleeping in his camper with his wife outside the daughter's home, when the ex broke down the front door, and began looking for his ex to kill her. Jim, armed with a semi-auto, placed the gun to the back of the guy's head, and ordered him onto the floor. Jim didn't know about the handgun the ex had on him until after LE arrived. The ex apparently voided his bladder at the point where Jim placed the gun to the back of his head. All this took place after the incident at Jim's house here in California.
The responding LE, after taking the ex into custody, asked Jim why he didn't shoot the ex. Jim simply stated that he knew how much paperwork that would generate for them. However, Jim said that if he knew about the handgun the guy had, he would have shot him instead. You should know, Jim, like my dad, was a retired Corrections Officer. The ex should have known better.
Sorry, but the caseworker mishandled the situation nd call from the beginning. Read the 911 transcript if you have any doubts. She showed absolutely no urgency. She even asked the 911 operator what she should do. Further into the call, upon smelling gasoline, her first concern was moving her car. She wasted half the call trying to figure out where she was located, had to go to her car to get the address. This simple, it should have taken less than a minute.. “my name is, I am a court appointed caseworker, two children under my care have been taken from me, I need emergency police assistance STAT.”. She had the power, authority, and responsibility to demand immediate assistance, she did not, even upon hearing the kids crying and screaming.
If at the time of this call there were other emergency calls where the dispatcher determined the available police units were needed more desperately, like shots fired, assault in progress, etc then its a call he has to make.
A social worker complaining in monotone probably didnt set off a flag till the second call.
Ive been on the scene of actual motor vehicle accidents and waited on PO-leece 45 minutes, and we are an emergency vehicle!
BTW if you were to be in the dispatch/call center during a high volumn time you would be amazed at what they can handle, and very professionally.
Jim did a good job of holding the guy for the police. It certainly does light a fire when the dispatcher is told that a gun in involved.
The daughter's ex should have remembered that while Jim might be a retired correctional officer, he still has that state of mind to defend someone if their life is threatened and to use deadly force if he needs to. Good for Jim!