911 Operator Tells Homeowner to Put Her Gun Away ??

This is a discussion on 911 Operator Tells Homeowner to Put Her Gun Away ?? within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Originally Posted by mcp1810 Many places that is S.O.P. We also told our trainees to tell the caller that if they have a gun in ...

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Thread: 911 Operator Tells Homeowner to Put Her Gun Away ??

  1. #31
    Member Array Deuce130's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcp1810 View Post
    Many places that is S.O.P. We also told our trainees to tell the caller that if they have a gun in their hand when an officer shows up they might get shot. You are right, the department's primary concern here is not the callers welfare. SCOTUS has ruled that police do not have an obligation to protect any individual absent a "special relationship" with the agency. If the call taker does not tell the person to put the gun down, and the situation ends up with an officer mistakenly shooting the armed homeowner, there can be a large settlement coming. If the call taker does, and the homeowner refuses and ends up shot, that is their fault for not following the call takers instructions. If they do put it down and the bad guy gets in and hurts them, see SCOTUS note above.

    A whole lot of department S.O.P. have very little to do with the best way to get the job done, but are more designed to limit exposure to civil liability cases.
    Really? I must say I disagree with you on the highlighted part. Police mistakenly shoot a homeowner with a gun and it's somehow the fault of the homeowner simply because they didn't relinquish their legally owned firearm to a 911 dispatcher that's 20 miles away? As for the rest of your post asserting that the police have no duty to protect you, I agree. That's why you shouldn't rely on LE to save your bacon in a pinch. You might get an officer who voluntarily elects to put his life on the line to protect your individual safety, but then again, you might not.

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  3. #32
    Senior Member Array kb2wji's Avatar
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    When a LEO responds to this type of call, they are not going to simply barge in the front door to make contact with the caller. It's starts by parking a few houses down the street and approaching on foot. Check the perimeter of the house for BG's, and also check doors/windows for forced entry etc... Only when the perimeter is clear will a LEO attempt to make contact with anyone inside if all else looks ok.

    Yes. My dispatcher better tell the caller to put up his/her gun!! I dont know Joe Homeowner from Adam. I'm a guy that just got to your house, and im snooping around your house (with no police car in sight, mind you) in the dark. I do NOT want an overzelous homeowner to jump out his patio door and open fire on me because i'm not wearing a bright yellow POLICE vest.

    Granted, i'll assume that most of us on this forum are responsible enough and careful enough to be able to handle a weapon in a situation like this. BUT.... Sadly enough, there are just as many people who have zero common sense, and will shoot first, ask questions later. I feel much safe checking out your house knowing that my dispatcher told you to put up your gun. As another poster said, a good percentage of people who think they have an intruder in the yard are in a panic. Tunnel vision, shaky hands, selective hearing etc.. all play a role. I'm not taking that chance if I dont have to.

  4. #33
    Member Array Deuce130's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kb2wji View Post
    When a LEO responds to this type of call, they are not going to simply barge in the front door to make contact with the caller. It's starts by parking a few houses down the street and approaching on foot. Check the perimeter of the house for BG's, and also check doors/windows for forced entry etc... Only when the perimeter is clear will a LEO attempt to make contact with anyone inside if all else looks ok.

    Yes. My dispatcher better tell the caller to put up his/her gun!! I dont know Joe Homeowner from Adam. I'm a guy that just got to your house, and im snooping around your house (with no police car in sight, mind you) in the dark. I do NOT want an overzelous homeowner to jump out his patio door and open fire on me because i'm not wearing a bright yellow POLICE vest.

    Granted, i'll assume that most of us on this forum are responsible enough and careful enough to be able to handle a weapon in a situation like this. BUT.... Sadly enough, there are just as many people who have zero common sense, and will shoot first, ask questions later. I feel much safe checking out your house knowing that my dispatcher told you to put up your gun. As another poster said, a good percentage of people who think they have an intruder in the yard are in a panic. Tunnel vision, shaky hands, selective hearing etc.. all play a role. I'm not taking that chance if I dont have to.
    And while the police are doing all of that, there could be a guy in my house intent on doing me and mine harm (kind of like the family in Connecticut). That's why I won't be giving up my gun until I know you're there and in a position to help. I would hope you would be expecting that and act accordingly.

  5. #34
    Ex Member Array JOHNSMITH's Avatar
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    I believe the duty of the dispatcher is to keep responding LE informed of the situation, and to keep the lady talking and as calm as can be expected in these situations. Basically, make sure she doesn't start shooting through the door. That is it. Once LE arrives on the scene, then things can change then. Until I see/hear LE right outside my door, I am not going to put my firearm away. If the dispatcher tells me that, I would either ignore that "advice" or tell the dispatcher what I said in the previous sentence.

    I'd also give the dispatcher my description so that if the guy does break in by the time LE arrives, and they come into the house right after the shoot, at least they have some idea of who the guy is holding the smoking gun. I mean, I'll still be told to drop my weapon and be detained, etc, but at least they'll have *some* useful information about the situation that should hopefully prevent the wrong people from getting shot.

    Quote Originally Posted by LanceORYGUN View Post

    That is just another reason why I think that it is always best to let law enforcement handle any situation, unless there is a clear and immediate threat to life. For you could be dealing with a person that is either mentally impaired or intoxicated, and thus not responsible for their behavior.

    .
    I respectfully disagree. One does not simply excuse such behavior. Mentally impaired, ok, perhaps, but if they perform a violent action, then there is no room for special treatment. Indeed, it is more likely you will encounter a violent drug abuser (like an alcoholic) than a violent mentally impaired person, since most mentally impaired people are not violent whatsoever.

    As far as the drug, they are 100% responsible for their behavior. They made the choice before they started drinking or whatnot. They should've thought ahead of time how they were going to get home, and such. I am also a believer that while one may do things drunk that they would never do while sober, it isn't a *completely* different person. What I mean is that a truly peaceful man would not rape or kill somebody, or beat his wife while drunk if he wasn't capable of doing the same while sober. In many respects, being drunk simply brings out many existing, but hidden, characteristics of a person.

    This belief of mine is one of the reasons why a guy (or gal) or seems otherwise ok, but turns into an angry and violent individual everytime he/she starts drinking immediately gets crossed off my friends list.

  6. #35
    Senior Member Array kb2wji's Avatar
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    I fully understand that. If someone is in your house, game on. Also remember that a large percentage of those types of calls that we respond to are called in people not like yourself. Would I feel safe arriving at your house when you are armed? Sure. But remember, not all home owners are educated, law abiding, common sense people. Give me a guarantee that the house im going to is occupied by people such as are on this forum....I wouldnt mind them being armed so much. Until you can guarantee me that this is the case, I want to be the only gun on the scene. You know that you are a responsible gun owner with common sense, knowledge of the law, and probably tactics. I do not know that. I've been on the wrong end of a .357 magnum. It was a homeowner who called me, and expected me to respond. I checked his perimeter, found nothing out of the ordinary. I go to the door and i'm greeted by the homeowner with a 357 at his side, but pointed at my chest. I jumped off his front stoop and drew down on him. He has no business with a gun. I do NOT KNOW if I am going to his house, or your house. Defend yourself by all means, but dont take it personally when asked to secure the gun.

  7. #36
    Senior Member Array Herknav's Avatar
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    I'll secure my gun when I know you're there, and I'm not in immediate danger. The OP made it sound like the dispatcher said something like, "Oh, you don't need a gun. I've got an officer that'll be there sometime tonight."--all while the guy was trying to get in the door. The answer is not only "no", but "____ no."

    If the dispatcher says, "I have an officer on the scene", and the bad guy is still outside the house, then that's different.

    Isn't the reason we tell the dispatcher, "I'm armed, and I'm wearing Bugs Bunny footed pajamas in a size adult XL and orthodontic headgear" so that the officer has an idea which one we are?

    As to Lance's comment, it's NOT the homeowner's job to know if the guy is drunk/high/mental/whatever. You break into a house that's not yours in the middle of the night, it's safe to assume you're not the Avon lady.
    I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on Earth.--Steve McQueen

  8. #37
    Member Array Illusive Man's Avatar
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    Why in the world would anyone listen the the 911 operator??? I would have informed the 911 operator that I was going to stay armed and ready until the police arrived.

  9. #38
    Member Array TravisABQ's Avatar
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    It seems that every few weeks, we read about some person at home getting assaulted, raped, or murdered while waiting for police response to a 911 call.
    The downside of 911 is that the public EXPECTS someone to swoop in and save them when evil comes to call.

    I'm so tired of hearing how rough police have it. police work is not as dangerous as working an oil rig, lumberjacking, or delivering pizza.

    Most of the cops I've seen are more at risk of a heart attack, than getting shot, or stabbed by ANYBODY, much less a homeowner who calls 911.

    If cops are too lazy, or timid to investigate the drunken stranger trying to break into my house, because *I* have a gun, then I guess I should just smoke him, and send for waste disposal all by myself.

    I won't take it personally if some dispatching drone tells me such foolishness, don't take it personally when I give 'em some colorful language in my retort.

  10. #39
    VIP Member Array bsnow's Avatar
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    Like others have said, if I call 911 it's for help not advise. That operator in this instance was wrong to say that to the caller. Just to many what ifs in this case. Never put your weapon down until LEO arrives or the threat goes away.
    Blessed be the LORD my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight. PSALM 144:1

    I CLING to my guns and my Bible.

  11. #40
    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    Circumstances make the difference. I'm going to differ somewhat with KB2WJI. I believe that the approach he described would be appropriate for a prowler/susp person type call. If I have a "burg now attempting entry at the front door", I see my job as stopping that attempt/entry ASAP, to protect the homowner. Time is of the essence. I coming in like an F16 on a carrier deck. I'll go "97" as I come to a stop and expect the dispatcher to relay that info to the homeowner.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

  12. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guantes View Post
    I coming in like an F16 on a carrier deck. I'll go "97" as I come to a stop and expect the dispatcher to relay that info to the homeowner.
    Okay... Not to stir the pot or anything... But F-16's don't land on carriers. They don't have the suspension or landing gear to handle it. You'd end up as a fireball on the deck and we'd have to just hose you off into the ocean.

    But I totally understand your point and what you're saying!

    Sorry, I just had to bust your chops a little bit Guantes. You feelin' the love?
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    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  13. #42
    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    Sure am. I, whenever possible keep my feet on the ground, so my aero knowledge is minimal.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

  14. #43
    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce130 View Post
    Really? I must say I disagree with you on the highlighted part. Police mistakenly shoot a homeowner with a gun and it's somehow the fault of the homeowner simply because they didn't relinquish their legally owned firearm to a 911 dispatcher that's 20 miles away? As for the rest of your post asserting that the police have no duty to protect you, I agree. That's why you shouldn't rely on LE to save your bacon in a pinch. You might get an officer who voluntarily elects to put his life on the line to protect your individual safety, but then again, you might not.
    Depending on what state you are in it would be called assumption of risk, contributory negligence, or comparative negligence. Unless it can be shown that the officer was grossly negligent, depending on your state law you might get nothing. In fact if the homeowner and the officer suffer injuries the homeowner could end up paying the officer damages.
    Infowars- Proving David Hannum right on a daily basis

  15. #44
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    Any dispatcher worth their weight is going to be spending more time informing the homeowner exactly when the officer arrives on the scene and advising the homeowner the officer may be approaching the house from any direction and in stealth mode, as well as informing the responding officers that the homeowner is armed and has been advised of LEO's presence on scene.

    Instead of repeatedly insisting on the homeowner put their weapon away, dispatchers can play a much more critical role keeping both on scene LEO's and the homeowner apprised of what is going on. If they do their job correctly, they are a critical link between the responding LEO's and the homeowner keeping everyone safe.

    I can say that in my area, 911 operators simply aren't trained to that level of critical thinking and interaction. And their level of pay for the job reflects that. Sadly, the 911 operators in my area can barely handle rudimentary protocols for both call screening and radio dispatching, frequently omitting critical information when handling both EMS and Law Enforcement calls.
    -Bark'n
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    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  16. #45
    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    While there are many benefits to 911 systems, there are also downsides. Back befor 911 we had a central dispatch, but we also had direct dispatch capabilities at the complaint desk so the watch dep could directly dispatch immediate info obtained on the phone from the victim to field units bypassing the dispatch center. The flow of information was very rapid. These were all sworn personnel.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

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