Tuesday, May 10, 2011


As supervisor you often have to deploy units. Sometimes you don’t have enough officers to handle every call. Usually your dispatchers will assign calls based on agency protocols but sometimes the supervisor has to make a judgment call. You have four officers on duty. A liquor store calls in that they have just been robbed. A citizen calls in a report of shots fired in his neighborhood, nowhere near the liquor store. Where do you send your four officers and why?

Send one officer to the shots fired call and three to the liquor store robbery. One officer goes directly to the liquor store to get more information, verify the crime and get as much suspect and suspect vehicle information as possible. The robber is a verified crime of violence that just occurred. The shots fired call could be shots fired, it could be a car backfiring or any number of other loud noises. Most of these calls turn out to be other than real shots or someone fires one or two rounds into the air and it can be impossible to find them.

The officer who responds to the liquor store needs to quickly confirm that an actually robbery happened and get a description of the suspect and his vehicle along with his direction of travel. If the shots fired call turns out to be a real crime, the two officers who are looking for the robber, can then respond to that incident if it turns out to be real. The armed robbery is more likely to be a real crime with some chance of catching someone. Making the hard decisions is part of the job; that’s what the SGT Says.

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