Mon. Sep 16th, 2019

Cop in controversial 911 call suspended

A cop who was criticized for an improper customer response to 911 call was suspended after investigations revealed she had violated several Bureau Personnel Service System (BPSS) and Bureau of Public Safety (BPS) Rules and Regulations.

Minister of Justice Raynold Oilouch told Island Times in an interview yesterday, January 14, that the officer will face five-day suspension without pay and is ordered to complete a customer service training.

The police officer was suspended for discourteous treatment to the member of the public, violation of codes on integrity, respect to others, and conduct that reflects unfavorable on the Bureau, among others.

Oilouch said that the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) is not taking the incident lightly, explaining further that he had scheduled a meeting with the officers on Wednesday, January 16, at around 9am in front of the BPS building to address the officers about the issue and improve communications and approach when dealing with the public. The same issue was also discussed in a monthly meeting held last week, following the news of the controversial 911 call.

Public Safety Director Aloysius Alonz, in a separate interview, said that the sanctions imposed were made after an investigation conducted by the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) confirmed the authenticity of the call.

Alonz said that the call was made and recorded by the 911 caller on January 4th this year before it was shared on the social media on the same day.

The caller had phoned the 911 Customer Service a couple of times before recording the telephone conversation that had gone viral over the last week. In the phone conversation, the caller would be heard asking for police assistance after allegedly learning from his children that they were being hurt. After several exchange with the police officer, the caller revealed that he cannot go to his children’s house since he had a paper – publicly presumed to be a restraining order – that prohibits him from going to the place. The cop involved in the call received backlash for the wrong way she responded to the caller.

Director Alonz said that since the alleged child abuse was brought up in the controversial call, the police also delved into the matter and made sure that the children were okay.

“Regardless of the number of calls he [the caller] made, we still follow our protocols no matter what, how, or why. Or if it is a prank call, we should still talk in a manner that we’ve been taught to do,” Alonz said, stressing that the officer should not have responded that way.

Alonz also shared that the beleaguered cop herself admitted that she had made a mistake and had understood the necessary disciplinary actions against her.

The BPS also issued a statement yesterday expressing that the response of the cop in question to the 911 call was not a BPS-sanctioned response.

In the interview, Oilouch also said that he had been stressing to the MOJ personnel that showing respect to the public is of utmost impotance.

“This has been what I’ve been stressing during my time as Minister that we can do our job more efficiently, more effectively if we show respect to the members of the public. And I believe that if we do that continuously, I think the public will in turn show the same kind of respect to the officers,” Oilouch expressed. (Rhealyn C. Pojas)