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Pittsburgh 911 Worker Didn't Tell Responding Officers that Poplawski Owned Guns

April 07, 2009  | 

When Richard Poplawski's mother called 911 to ask that her son be removed from their home in Stanton Heights, she acknowledged that he had weapons.

But that crucial piece of information never was relayed to the three Pittsburgh police officers who responded Saturday and were fatally shot.

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Comments (3)

Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

venom521 @ 4/8/2009 7:16 AM

I just feel like the dispatchers just dont care about their job as much as they should. I mean our dispatchers here where im at act like they dont even care, for a example just yesterday i made a vehicle stop on a vehicle. I called it like we all do I then went to talk with the driver and got that bad feeling on this stop. I called for a back-up unit while walking back to my car the dispatcher comes back and says what are u out on i dont have u out on anything i told her on open air that i am on the traffic stop that i just gave her about 4 mins. ago. she advised she didnt put it into the system so i had to repeat my stop and where i was at. This happens about 4-6 times a week with our officers. This is one reason i have no faith in our dispatchers.

wrausch @ 4/8/2009 9:02 AM

It's tragic that three police officers lost their lives. Naturally, those three deaths have far reaching ramifications, and only time will help heal the hurt.

I have been in law enforcement for many years, and I find there to be some dangerous misconceptions concerning the information that dispatchers should relay to responding officers. Experienced officers should know that violators and criminals lie to us everyday, and we should NEVER be surprised by their actions or words. Considering the number of citizens in the US who own guns, it's always a good bet that you are responding to a situation where guns are at least available. In actuality, there are guns present wherever we respond, because even if the resident doesn't have them, we bring our own. We MUST learn that each and every response has the capability to kill us, and we should always be on the top of our game in every circumstance.

What would have happened if the person the dispatcher spoke to lied about weapons being available? How many times have citizens lied to you? Is this unusual? Sure, dispatchers make mistakes too, as all human beings do. Some may be lazy and inadequate, and if that's the case, they should be replaced. The point is this, we will continue to become victims until we learn to circumvent the potential hazards of relying on others to insure our safety. Everyone has a gun! All situations have the potential to go south, and much of the information we receive doesn't adequately describe the event once we're there. I've seen too many officer funerals through the years! The world is becoming an ever-increasingly dangerous place, so use your training and experience to come home at night. Survivors change the way they do business by learning from past mistakes, not by doing the same thing they always do, and then blaming others when things go bad.

My most sincere sympathy and prayers go out to the families and fellow officers of the slain.

angelwatchn2 @ 4/8/2009 10:29 AM

God Bless the Officers & Dispatchers. THey now know the ramifications of omitting information for responding officers.

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