911 call during Trayvon Martin confrontation raises questions ab - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

911 call during Trayvon Martin confrontation raises questions about police response time

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

A 911 call during the Trayvon Martin confrontation raise questionsabout police response time.

The question is, at what point during the 9-1-1 call did theoperator dispatch officers?  Could a speedier response have preventedTrayvon Martin's death? It was not until the end of the almost 3 minute conversations,that the dispatcher told the caller the police were on the way.

You might be surprised to learn that police crews are often notdispatched right away. It might take several minutes before that happens. 

Lieutenant Paul Ezell of the Columbus Police Department saysthere's a reason for asking the caller a lot of questions even though there'surgency to the every 9-1-1 call.

"When we get a call in, we start asking the caller some basicinformation about where they're at and what's going on and then from that wedecide what type call it is; whether it's a high priority call or a lowerpriority call," said Lieutenant Ezell

Police dispatch works a lot like an emergency room. LieutenantEzell says high priority calls are crimes in progress, and with those types ofcalls, dispatchers are trained to keep the caller on the line.

"I need to know where. I need to know if that person had aweapon," says Columbus Police dispatcher Shelley Joyce.  "These questions are benefiting that officer andfor his safety."

Joyce has been working as a dispatcher for 24 years.  She says it can take her at the most fiveminutes to get an officer on the scene of a crime.

"I'm going to tell you that we're on the way, when we're onthe way. I may get a phone call, if I've got who, what, when, or where, theycan be on the way," said Joyce.

Controversy has surrounded that 9-1-1 recording of someone yellingfor help. Zimmerman's lawyer says it's his client screaming in thebackground. Trayvon Martin's mother challenges that claim saying; in fact,it's her son pleading for help.

Until that's determined, we may never know who was the oneyelling; and if the dispatcher responded sooner, if Trayvon Martin's life couldhave been saved.

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