If I were a resident of Manatee County, Florida, I’d want to have a listen to the 911 call between a Holmes Beach homeowner and a 911 dispatcher to determine whether or not the dispatchers need more training on home to interact with armed victims of crimes.
80-year-old NJ Logan was home healing from hip replacement surgery when one or more burglars broke into her home while her husband was away. Mrs. Logan armed herself with her revolver and then made her way downstairs on her new hip, yelling a warning to the intruders. Fortunately, the criminals beat a hasty retreat once they realized the home was occupied instead of ambushing her when she came downstairs.
Once she got downstairs and found that the burglars had fled, Mrs. Logan then dialed 911… and was repeatedly told to put down her gun.
“When I called 911 she kept saying put the gun down. Put the gun down and I said I’ll put the gun down when I see the police,” NJ said.
Holmes Beach Police Chief William Tokajer said there have been a few incidents in NJ’s neighborhood — one she may have stopped.
“I think it’s a wake up call to any would-be burglar,” Chief Tokajer said.
If Logan’s recollection of events is reasonably accurate, it sounds like it’s the 911 dispatcher that needs a wake-up call, and perhaps some retraining.
While I’m certain that the dispatcher wanted to avoid the possibility of Mrs. Logan and responding officers from engaging one another with their firearms, it might have just as easily led to a tragedy if the dispatcher had been able to successfully convince Mrs. Logan to put down her firearm if suspects were still in her home. I do not believe that the 911 dispatcher was helping Mrs. Logan by telling her to put down her firearm prior to officers arriving.
It would seem to more logical to direct Logan to either retreat to a known-safe area of the home or to leave the home entirely and meet police outside the home so that they could clear it, telling Mrs. Logan to put down the revolver as she saw the officers arrive.
I suspect that if the dispatcher had been able to convince Mrs. Logan to disarm and she was subsequently injured as a result, then the dispatcher and the government entity that employs the dispatcher would have opened themselves to a potentially costly lawsuit.
Have any Bearing Arms readers had similar experiences with 911 dispatchers?