Collecting 911 Witness Information

By: Meghan Dwyer
By: Meghan Dwyer

When 23 News got recordings of the 911 calls made the night of the shooting at the BP on Auburn we were surprised when some callers weren't even asked for their names.

Nine calls were made around 8:00 the night of the BP Gas Station shooting and when dispatchers answered two of the calls they didn't ask for any information.

The 911 Center says by the time it got that call police and ambulances were already at the scene.

To keep up with lines that were ringing off the hook they had to move on to other calls. In the best case scenario only five dispatchers are there to answer thirteen 911 lines.

911 Training Supervisor Leigh Sterrenberg said, "We try to find out as much as we can however the priority's for us to get are who what when and where. if we can get that and was have so many 911 lines ringing, we want to try to get to those as soon as possible."

The good news is that if police want to talk to that caller they can almost always can get the caller's phone number and call them later during the investigation. That number is automatically recorded even if the person doesn't give it to the dispatcher.

So what do police say? Do they wish the dispatchers got more information from callers?

They say they want as much information as possible, but they say they realize the 911 dispatchers can't do police work over the phone. Police have requested those 911 calls so they can follow up with the witnesses nobody is in custody.


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