911 Response

<p>D is at a paid internship 3000 miles away. While I know she is mature enough to take care of things, something happened over the weekend that makes me want to step in, and I need your perspective as to whether I should or not.</p>

<p>The interns (18 of them) were on an overnight trip sponsored by the program over the weekend that had them camping overnight. Everything was going great until a bit after midnight, a truck that my D says that they believe was from a couple of campsites down drove by and yelled some ugly words to them that included the "n" word. The group is diverse, caucasian, black and asian. They were very upset by this, and called 911. The 911 operator told them there was probably "nothing to worry about" and didn't send out a squad car since the group said it was dark at the campsite and couldn't positively identify the truck. Of course the kids were very upset and considered breaking down the tents and leaving. They decided against that because that would entail driving 3 hours across winding unfamiliar roads. They ended up staying and taking shifts staying awake to keep watch. </p>

<p>There was somebody that is employed by the University where this internship is held on this trip, so I'm sure they know of the incident. However I am upset that the 911 operator blew them off telling them "you'll probably be okay" and didn't at the least send somebody out. Do I say nothing, call the university, or the town in which this incident happened? </p>

<p>This happened at a campsite on the Oregon coast. My D was shocked and told the other interns that she lived in one of the most racist counties in Georgia, where Oprah held her town meeting with the KKK, and had NEVER heard things like these people said to them.</p>

<p>Do I stay out of it or not?</p>

<p>How did you happen to hear about it? Does it seem like your daughter is asking for your help? If not, and if they are college students, I might wait and see how they handled it. Of course, i don't know what was said, but I am not sure what they were afraid of. Where threats made, or did it just seem like such bizarre behavior, that they did not know what to expect? Seems like the 911 operator didn't think it was that bizarre. </p>

<p>Of course, I think "camping" is a little bizarre, so what do I know?</p>

<p>I'd probably be sending an anonymous ( so as not to embarrass my kids) letter to the editor of the local paper, too.</p>

<p>As much as you want to charge in there, (and any mother would), I would stay out of it.
In my mind the 911 operator should have sent someone out there however, luckily in this case everyone was okay. I wonder if the person who called 911 was insistent about having a car sent out?<br>
I had an incident in our small town which was somewhat similar. I called 911 and no one ever showed up. The next day I went to the restaurant where the mayor has coffee and let him have a piece of my mind. (LOL). I learned my lesson...if I call 911 in that situation again I am going to insist that a car be sent. (In my case I called from a cel phone and apparently they were having trouble locating me. The operators are regional and were not familiar with the street names, etc I was giving them.)</p>

<p>My D called me the next morning and told me she "almost" called me the night before when it was happening, but didn't want to wake me. Just the thought that she wanted to call me makes me know she needed comfort. I of course told her it doesn't matter the hour, that if just talking would have in some way comforted her. The truck drove by a couple of times, and yelled "wake the f*** up n's!" I was so excited for her that it was her first time camping, and I'll bet the it'll be her last!</p>

<p>That's terrible and I'm so sorry your daughter and her group had that experience. As parents, we feel helpless in the face of something like that.</p>

<p>They should report this to the campground overseers. They should have plate records.</p>

<p>I once reported a camping neighbor who was hacking in a tree (state park - they got in trouble). We left that day - it was creepy thinking that they'd be right nearby while we slept the next night in a tent w/o protection.</p>

<p>They called 911 because someone yelled a few stupid WORDS at them? Oh please. </p>

<p>Or were they worried because there was a drunk in a truck who was disturbing everyone at the campsite?</p>

<p>A lot of it is in how you look at it.</p>

<p>There are idiotic drunks driving dangerous weapons everywhere--and that is dangerous. But it's not dangerous because of the WORDS they used; it's because they were driving a dangerous weapon while drunk in a campsite where people are trying to sleep.</p>

<p>I would suggest that you work with your daughter--not the school--to help her learn to identify dangerous situations and how to ask for help. If she had called 911 and asked them to send out the appropriate people (if it was national forest land, for example, it might not be the local cops) to deal with a dangerous drunk in a truck, she might have gotten a very different response than she did.</p>

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They called 911 because someone yelled a few stupid WORDS at them? Oh please

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<p>They called 911 because drunk idiots were yelling racist things at them in a large pickup truck driving 20 feet from their tent. Sorry if you don't think that would warrant college age kids to call 911, but I would have done the same thing. Would you want your D to call 911 if she felt threatened? Drunk red neck idiots words can cause real concern, sorry if you don't see that.</p>

<p>I'm wondering if they communicated that it was a drunk in a pickup truck driving 20 feet from their tent? Because the way you phrased it, someone drove by and yelled out the window and then left. That's not a big deal--but the drunk in a pickup is. If they called and said "there's a racist yelling at us" that's very different from "there's a drunk driving around the tents in an enormous pickup truck".</p>

<p>The operator may have interpreted the message as information-gathering, as in "there are some people who have been drinking". But, if she had started with, "I feel in danger here..." then I bet the operator would have called the police to investigate.</p>

<p>GAMOM, I'm so sorry your D and her friends had to experience this kind of stuff! They did the right thing by calling 911. Aggressive drunk people in large vehicles are unpredictable and can be very dangerous. Without knowing all details, it is hard to say what happened and why the 911 operator decided to simply dismiss their call without sending the cops.</p>

<p>I'd say something to our (OR) Governor Ted Kulongoski, and to the two candidates to the governorship. I'd even reference this forum. The 911 person should be reprimanded. 911 person should have minimally alerted local police and state police and informed your DD that authorities would be nearby.</p>

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They called 911 because drunk idiots were yelling racist things at them in a large pickup truck driving 20 feet from their tent. Sorry if you don't think that would warrant college age kids to call 911, but I would have done the same thing. Would you want your D to call 911 if she felt threatened? Drunk red neck idiots words can cause real concern, sorry if you don't see that.

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<p>There was no law broken. You can't get thrown in jail for saying racist things at somebody.</p>

<p>Now, if they said if you don't leave I'm going to beat you up, then that warrants a call to 911.</p>

<p>I would guess that the campground is State (most of coastal campgrounds are State) and a few are county, and if you are really in the woods, they are private timber company's. This time of year, the campground have hosts, and if State, State personnel.</p>

<p>red, laws do not need to be broken to justify a 911 call. A cat stuck high up a tree is not breaking any laws, yet his owner is jsustified to call for help. A person having a heart attack is not breaking any laws. If I feel that there is someone prowling around my house at 2 am, heck I'm calling 911 without waiting for the law to be broken! And as I said, we don't know the details...</p>

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red, laws do not need to be broken to justify a 911 call. A cat stuck high up a tree is not breaking any laws, yet his owner is jsustified to call for help. A person having a heart attack is not breaking any laws. If I feel that there is someone prowling around my house at 2 am, heck I'm calling 911 without waiting for the law to be broken! And as I said, we don't know the details...

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<p>You're right. I guess I meant that just because somebody calls you names does not mean you should call 911.</p>

<p>Actually, 911 is supposed to be reserved for emergency calls -- most communities have a non-emergency line for things like a cat in a tree. It's a problem and ties up the line when people call 911 for things that do not require urgent police action.</p>

<p>
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9-1-1 is reserved only for true emergency situations in which there is a definite, likely or uncertain threat to life, health or property. Be sure to dial 9-1-1 only when the situation you are reporting requires an immediate response by police, EMS or the fire department. Some communities offer an alternative number, often 3-1-1, for reporting important situations that do not meet the criteria of requiring an immediate emergency response, but require an urgent response by some public safety agency nonetheless. Check with your local telephone company or municipal government agency to determine whether such a number exists in your community, and to find out what it is. Some examples: a house fire, someone having a heart attack or a robbery are all situations for which it is appropriate to call 9-1-1. A call for a broken water line, unexpected disruption of phone or electric service or the infamous "cat stuck in a tree" are *not[/] appropriate 911 calls, unless there are detrimental secondary consequences (e.g. a family member at home is being maintained on some form of electrical life support and the power goes out; the broken water line is rapidly flooding your house, et cetera).

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See How</a> to Call 911 - wikiHow
and Reasons</a> Not to Call 911</p>

<p>Now I understand that a group of student campers probably don't have a phone directory handy -- but the question still remains, was it an emergency? </p>

<p>"A guy drove by and shouted racial epithets out the window" is not an emergency.</p>

<p>"A guy is driving around the campground making threats and shouting racial epithets" may be an emergency. </p>

<p>I think a 911 operator would likely have asked questions along the lines of, "is he still there?" or "where is he now?" -- and if the caller said something along the lines of, "I don't know, he took off" -- then it is not going to be treated as an emergency.</p>

<p>Think about it: what could the police do if they arrived? I understand why a group of scared kids would make the call to 911 .... but I also see it as a situation where, more likely than not, the 911 operator asked the appropriate questions to determine that it was a non-emergency situation and so no car was dispatched.</p>

<p>Most state campgrounds--at least here in CA--have very strict rules about alcohol...in most cases, it's not allowed. So if the guy was drunk and on a campground, he very well could have been breaking the law.</p>

<p>... <em>sigh</em></p>

<p>all of that over a few words? I think calling 911 was to much, however what they SHOULD have done was get in contact with the campgrounds people. They normally have people on staff "just in case'' something were to happen.</p>

<p>Actually, the story has been embellished with successive posts. </p>

<p>Post #1: "a truck that my D says that they believe was from a couple of campsites down drove by and yelled some ugly words to them that included the "n" word."</p>

<p>Post #4: " The truck drove by a couple of times, and yelled "wake the f*** up n's!" </p>

<p>Post #8: "drunk idiots were yelling racist things at them in a large pickup truck driving 20 feet from their tent."</p>

<p>So we've got a progression from one person driving by once and yelling; to one person driving by twice and yelling; to 2 or more drunk people within 20 feet. </p>

<p>And we've got no clue what the 911 operator was told.</p>

<p>It sounds to me like the 911 operator (a) determined from the call that it was not an emergency, probably by asking whether the situation was ongoing; (b) tried to reassure the callers; and (c) although it is not stated, very likely instructed the caller to call back if the situation recurred. </p>

<p>The other piece of information we don't have is distance: how long would it have taken for a vehicle to get to the remote campground ("3 hours across winding roads" for the campers... who knows how long or far for the nearest available responder?</p>

<p>The other piece of info that we are missing is what, if anything, available responders were occupied with at the time. </p>

<p>Again, the test is not whether something illegal is going on, but whether it is an emergency. </p>

<p>I do understand why the kids would be scared, but the point is that it is not the job of the 911 dispatcher to send out police in response to every call; it is the job of the 911 dispatcher to gather information and make a determination of whether there is an emergency, and dispatch a response in situations where it is appropriate. Absent a tape of the 911 call, there's really no way to assess what happened in this case.</p>