Minneapolis 911 honored for responses to critical incidents
Minneapolis 911 staff were honored Wednesday with the Association of Public Safety Officials, Inc. (APCO) Minnesota Chapter “Making A Difference” award for their work in responding to several critical incidents in 2012. The awards were presented at the annual Minnesota State Sheriff’s Association/APCO/NENA joint training conference.
Minneapolis 911 staff will be recognized for how they handled several high-profile and critical incidents in 2012, including:
- the Accent Signage workplace shooting
- an ambush of police officers
- aiding a police officer in great danger
- police officers in gunfight
- teamwork in a domestic violence incident involving a gun
Accent Signage workplace shooting
In the first 17 minutes as the Accent Signage shooting unfolded, there were 104 total phone calls received and placed from the Minneapolis 911 Center. Of those, 79 were 911 calls or call backs. There were 16 calls to 911 during that time frame that were directly related to the incident at Accent Signage.
In the next minutes and hours as the situation at Accent Signage unfolded, the staff at Minneapolis 911 seamlessly worked together to coordinate responders and manage information from the scene.
Ambush of police officers
On Aug. 21, 2012 at about 11:20 p.m., Minneapolis 911 received a call from a victim who stated he had been attacked and robbed by multiple suspects armed with knives. A squad with two Minneapolis Park Police officers was dispatched to the location of Bryant Avenue South and West Minnehaha Parkway.
On arrival they observed a lone male matching the description of the victim in the call. When the officers went to make contact with this male, he stabbed the male officer in the chest with a knife. The officer’s body armor prevented the knife from penetrating. The suspect then assaulted the female officer and stabbed her in the upper back causing her to fall and sustain a serious laceration to her head. The male officer then shot and disabled the suspect.
There were several other serious incidents occurring simultaneously in this radio jurisdiction area including a foot chase in the same precinct.
When officers called out for an ambulance and said shots had been fired, Dispatcher Leticia Cardenas moved quickly to start additional help and medical assistance. Dispatchers and officers also worked to determine the best route for responders to assist because the closest cross street for the creek was closed due to construction on a bridge.
The suspect later admitted to investigators that he had called 911 to report a robbery with the intention to hurt police officers when they arrived to talk to him. Both officers will make a full recovery.
Aiding a police officer in great danger
On July 27, 2012, Minneapolis Police Officer William Martin made a traffic stop at 35th Avenue Northeast and Central Avenue Northeast.
During the stop, Officer Martin was suddenly attacked by the driver. He was by himself and in great danger of losing the fight and losing consciousness, and at risk of great bodily harm or worse.
When Officer Martin was able to reach his radio and call for help, it was on the wrong channel as his radio had been jostled in the violent struggle, so officers in his own precinct did not immediately hear his call for help.
Channel 2 911 Dispatcher Robin Carter received the radio call and rapidly coordinated with Channel 1 911 Dispatcher Jan Russo. They were able to work as a team to quickly determine from Officer Martin's broadcast that this was a call for help originating in the 2nd Precinct.
Upon arrival of other officers, it took two additional officers along with Officer Martin to finally take the attacking suspect into custody. Prompt coordination by both dispatchers to quickly and accurately determine the situation and then broadcast city-wide for help greatly aided the responding officers in arriving quickly at the scene.
Police officers in gunfight
On Nov. 28, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. the City’s Gunshot Detection System and calls to 911 indicated that shots were being fired in the area of 37th St. E. and Elliot Avenue South.
As officers arrived they stopped a vehicle leaving the scene that they believe was involved. One of the suspects in that vehicle fled on foot as the vehicle was stopped. Officers began chasing the suspect who then fired on the officers multiple times. Minneapolis officers continued pursuing the suspect but also returned fire.
Many of these shots were heard on the radio and by 911 call takers and 911 Dispatcher Jennifer Geiselhart immediately toned and broadcast a citywide call for help and then began coordinating response and perimeter locations with her coworkers. The suspect was finally apprehended after suffering a non-life-threatening gunshot wound.
This type of situation is one of the most challenging events that 911 dispatchers must manage. Jennifer’s quick and decisive actions in dispatching and managing the incident contributed to the ultimate successful apprehension and arrest of the suspect.
Gun-involved domestic violence incident
On Dec. 2, 2012, 911 Operator Celeste Klein received a 911 call from a domestic violence victim who had been threatened with a gun and left the house. Operator Klein was able to get detailed and specific information through her skilled and professional interviewing of the victim. The information included that the victim’s husband threatened her with a gun and then left the house with the weapon en route to his workplace in Coon Rapids. Dispatchers Linda Rock, Jennifer Geiselhart and James Luzar, along with 911 Operators Jay Johnson and Jo Richmond then worked together to quickly release alerts and notifications to area law enforcement ensuring all officers city-wide were on the look-out for the suspect’s vehicle.
This was a volatile situation that ended without incident. The quick and decisive actions of the Minneapolis 911 staff greatly aided the distribution of information to Minneapolis and surrounding agency officers. The suspect was apprehended by Coon Rapids Police at his workplace in possession of the gun. He was charged by both Minneapolis and Coon Rapids Police for the domestic assault and as a felon in possession of a loaded handgun.
Published Mar 27, 2013