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Dispatchers

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NEWS
January 20, 1988 | By Maureen Graham, Special to The Inquirer
It's nice to have friends in high places. Just ask Westville police dispatchers Rose Smith and Sue Sampson. On Jan. 11, Smith and Sampson watched from a window at the Police Department as five burly Teamsters picketed the Westville Municipal Building on their behalf. The next day the borough mayor and council were put on notice by a Teamsters business agent and attorney. And soon, every entrance and exit to Westville may be blocked by pickets - a move that could halt deliveries to all businesses in the 1-square-mile borough.
NEWS
March 7, 1991 | By Michael Peck, Special to The Inquirer
At 2:32 a.m. on a Saturday night last month, Diane Bedwell, a Gloucester Township police dispatcher, heard an abrupt radio call. "Get us some help," the voice said. Though the speaker gave neither his identity nor his location, Bedwell instantly recognized the voice as that of patrolman Sal Costa. She also knew that Costa had stopped a speeding car on Sicklerville Road just inside Winslow Township. Bedwell called in backup units to help Costa and a Winslow police officer subdue a drunken driver.
NEWS
January 10, 1993 | By Claire Furia, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
After months of riding through the streets and alleys of Phoenixville and studying borough maps, Chester County police dispatchers are now handling Phoenixville's emergency calls. That means that at any given hour, there is an additional police officer patrolling the borough, now that they are free from dispatching duty. "It's real, real nice," said Cpl. Georgeann Jordan, about the extra street coverage. The switch was made on New Year's Day, four months after the borough's four police dispatchers were laid off to help reduce the borough's deficit.
NEWS
January 13, 1988 | By Maureen Graham, Special to The Inquirer
Representatives of Teamsters Local 676 told Westville's council members last night that the union had filed a labor grievance with the state's employment commission on behalf of the borough's four police dispatchers. The teamsters have picketed the borough hall since Monday after efforts to meet with borough officials failed, they said. Walter J. Bednarczyk, a business agent for the Teamsters, and attorney David A. Fox told council members they had filed a grievance Monday with the state's Public Employment Relations Commission alleging that the borough had failed to negotiate with the dispatchers.
NEWS
February 13, 2015 | By Allison Steele, Inquirer Staff Writer
A group of Camden dispatchers who handle emergency calls to county police fear an evaluation of the unit could put them out of work. City Council this week authorized a request for proposals to determine whether if Camden could provide better service for less money using a contractor. City spokesman Vincent Basara said that the city is simply seeking to review the cost efficiency of the unit, and that any future action would go before Council for discussion. But the president of Communications Workers of America Local 1014, representing the dispatchers, said members worry that the city is looking to phase them out. "They need experienced, professional dispatchers, and that is who our members are," Karl Walko said Wednesday.
NEWS
February 3, 2000 | by Nicole Weisensee, Daily News Staff Writer
Thomas Crawley isn't the only Philadelphian to torment 911 dispatchers. The beleaguered workers deal with a steady stream of pranksters while performing their daily duties. They each handle about 180 calls per eight-hour shift. Some are calling in fake crimes, like Crawley is accused of doing. Others try to use the emergency line as if it's a private delivery service. Deputy Police Commissioner Charles Brennan still recalls the woman who kept calling 911 during the blizzard several years ago. "She demanded that we send a cop out to buy her cigarettes," he said, laughing.
NEWS
February 12, 1993 | By Edward Engel, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
The township will lay off two of its three dispatchers to cut costs when it switches to the Camden County emergency dispatching service in May, Police Chief Charles Gooley Jr. confirmed yesterday. "Economics and liability pretty much forced us into it. . . . It's a service that the county was already doing," Gooley said. "County tax dollars were already providing for that. " Gooley said the switch would save the township more than $44,000 - $22,000 each for the two dispatchers' salaries, plus savings from not providing their benefits.
NEWS
May 24, 1992 | By Michael Lear-Olimpi, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
A union will appeal the layoffs of seven police dispatchers in Winslow Township, a union official said. The May 5 decision by the township committee will be appealed to the New Jersey Department of Personnel, said Richard M. Riggs, president of Camden County Council 10 of the New Jersey Civil Service Association. "We will appeal the good-faith aspects of the layoffs, whether they are doing this to save money," Riggs said. Michele McAdams, a dispatcher, was happy to hear of the appeal.
NEWS
November 20, 1988 | By Rich Henson, Inquirer Staff Writer
Police officers in Chester County have been placed in compromising and sometimes life-threatening situations because some of Chester County's police radio dispatchers routinely mishandle calls, officials of the county Fraternal Order of Police charged last week. FOP president John R. Bailey, a Tredyffrin Township detective, said that during the last two years many police departments throughout the county have complained to the Department of Emergency Services, which operates the countywide police radio network, but have seen no improvement in the way calls are being handled.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
August 19, 2016 | By Michael Boren, Staff Writer
Police learned that Ruben Johnson Jr. had killed his wife and 10-year-old son in their Burlington Township home, and turned the gun on himself, after a 911 caller said someone had reported trouble at the house. "Someone called me and told me my son has shot his wife and son," the caller told dispatchers the night of Aug. 8, according to a recording of the call obtained Wednesday through a public-records request. The man on the call referred several times to "my son," and identified himself as living in Marlboro, N.J. Records show that is where Ruben Johnson Sr., father of Ruben Jr., lives.
NEWS
August 1, 2016 | By Julie Shaw, STAFF WRITER
A 76-year-old man was seriously wounded in his South Jersey home after an exchange of gunfire with a New Jersey State Police trooper late Friday that stemmed from an apparently mistaken effort to track a 911 call. . The state Attorney General's Office said in a statement Saturday that a preliminary investigation found that two troopers went to the home on the 300 block of Centerton Road in Upper Deerfield Township, Cumberland County, about 11:30 p.m. after receiving a 911 call, which authorities initially thought originated from a cellphone at that home.
NEWS
July 22, 2016 | By Emily Babay, STAFF WRITER
A large fire broke out overnight at a mushroom farm in Chester County. The blaze was reported about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Modern Mushroom Farms at 1330 Newark Road in Toughkenamon, according to Chester County dispatchers. About 1,000 hay bales caught fire, dispatchers said. The blaze was placed under control at 3:02 a.m. No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
SPORTS
July 11, 2016 | By Erin McCarthy, STAFF WRITER
ALLENTOWN - Blue-and-black boa around his neck and plastic pigskin hat covering his eyes, Mike Hollenbach leaned over the 5-yard line. "Let's hit these guys hard today," Hollenbach bellowed as Soul players warmed up in front of him. "We're going to play hard today. " Walking the sideline, Ron Jaworski laughed as he shook Hollenbach's hand. "Keep the noise down, my brother," joked Jaworski, the former Eagles quarterback and Soul owner. Hollenbach knows the Soul's owners, players, and coaches.
NEWS
June 29, 2016 | By Caitlin McCabe, Mari A. Schaefer, and Emily Babay, STAFF WRITERS
Broadcast over police radio Friday morning, the call for help was harrowing. "I'm shot in the face! I'm shot in the face!" Folcroft Police Officer Christopher Dorman shouted as gunfire boomed in the background. "I'm shot! I'm shot! I'm shot!" Yet miles away in Delaware County's 911 center, no dispatcher heard him. For four minutes on Friday morning, a computer responsible for handling all emergency calls for the Folcroft area crashed, leaving Dorman and responding officers without an essential lifeline.
NEWS
June 26, 2016 | By Caitlin McCabe and Emily Babay, STAFF WRITERS
The call to Folcroft police Friday morning came in like a standard report: A resident had spotted a drug deal on the 1500 block of Elmwood Avenue, and wanted an officer to check it out. Christopher Dorman, a 25-year-old part-time officer who had just celebrated his one-year milestone with the department, responded to the call just before 10 a.m. Within seconds, a run-of-the-mill crime became an ambush, one of the most horrific police shootings Delaware...
NEWS
May 11, 2016 | By Joseph A. Gambardello, Staff Writer
A Kensington man was in custody after allegedly calling 911 early Monday to say he had strangled his girlfriend and then taking off. The 24-year-old man, who continued speaking with dispatchers while police were looking for him, was apprehended more than a dozen blocks away in Port Richmond. Officers responding to the initial call about 2:15 a.m. found a 28-year-old woman unresponsive on the bed of a second-floor bedroom on the 3200 block of Rorer Street, police said. Medics pronounced her dead at the scene at 2:39 a.m. Her name was not released, and the cause of death was pending an autopsy.
NEWS
March 29, 2016
For any Philadelphian familiar with the story, it's hard to forget the way Eddie Polec died. The 16-year-old was pummeled to death on the steps of St. Cecilia's Roman Catholic Church in Fox Chase as more than a dozen people, including a nun, called 911, only to be abused, ignored, and misunderstood by dispatchers. One caller held out the phone so that a 911 operator could hear the raging battle among teenagers from Abington and Northeast Philadelphia. But State Rep. Maria Donatucci (D., Phila.)
NEWS
August 8, 2015 | By Walter F. Naedele, Inquirer Staff Writer
When her father, James Joye, died in 1972 at a relative's home in Columbia, S.C., Wilma Joye McConnell wanted to make sure that he had not taken all the family memories with him. So she, her brothers, and her sisters, all five of them, decided to hold an annual Labor Day weekend reunion for their extended family. It began that year "on my Uncle Joe's farm, a pretty big tobacco farm in Clayton, N.C.," Mrs. McConnell's son Mike said. In recent years, it had moved to the Garner (N.C.)
NEWS
July 6, 2015 | By Justine McDaniel, Inquirer Staff Writer
A reportedly suicidal man was shot and killed Friday by Camden police, the first fatal police shooting since the regional department's formation in 2013. The 33-year-old crashed into parked cars on a street in the Cramer Hill section before calling 911 and threatening to kill himself and police around 11:20 p.m. Friday, police said. On a 911 recording released by Camden County Police, the man identified himself as Oscar Camacho. "I want to come out at the cops. Like I said, whatever, we're going to go on a shootout, whatever.
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