Afternoon Assault Highlights Importance Of Responding To Priority 2 Calls In A Timely Manner

Police were called after a male assaulted a female at Applebee’s near 74th and Dodge St.  The call was assessed as a Priority 2 and held with several other calls in the precinct.  As time went on the situation escalated and employees were reported to have intervened in the incident holding the suspect down.  Additional people began to call 911 to report that a male was in a chokehold and having his head smashed into the ground.  The call had been holding for over 20 minutes at this point.

The call was then upgraded to a Priority 1 Assault in Progress.  Northwest Precinct attempted to send officers to the call; however, due to a no car citywide status there were no officers available to respond in the city.  The incident occurred around the time of shift change only compounding the difficulty of finding available officers in the city.  Minutes later officers from “C Shift” began to come on duty and were able to respond to the call.

Had officers been free to respond to the call at an earlier time when it was still classified as a Priority 2 it may have prevented civilians from having to intervene in the dangerous situation.  Police would have de-escalated the scene and averted unnecessary injury to the victim, the suspect, and civilians.  This incident highlights the susceptibility of the city to fall behind on calls during shift change and other major events.  In the future, police leadership and city officials should look to improve upon shift change policy to address these times of decreased manpower availability.

Full Timeline With Audio

Prior to 2:25:52 PM- Douglas County 911 was called for a report of a disturbance/ assault at Applebee’s at 7450 Dodge St. Saturday afternoon.  The call was assessed to be a Priority 2 and placed on a list of several other Priority 2 calls.

2:41:33 PM- Northwest Precinct dispatch then announced the call as still being held.

2:46:01 PM- The call was then upgraded to a Priority 1 Assault in Progress.  The Northwest Precinct dispatcher asked for any unit available citywide to respond as she did not have any free police cars in her precinct nor were there any free in the other 3 precincts.

2:46:42 PM- The Northwest Precinct dispatcher then asked how long until the C Shift 10 crew would come out and begin to be able to take radio calls.

2:47:06 PM- Command 10 asks for clarification on the call.  Dispatch advises that it is an Assault in Progress and that someone was in a chokehold and their head was being smashed into the ground.  Command 10 asks if the Southwest Precinct has any available units to respond.  Dispatch advises that there are no cars citywide and that she has been announcing the call for 20 minutes.

2:48:08 PM- A “C Shift” officer comes on duty and is able to respond.  Dispatch gives a more detailed update of the incident and advises that the information is current.

2:48:14 PM- Dispatch announces the time as 14:48 (2:48 PM).

2:48:30 PM- A second “C Shift” car hits on duty and is enroute to backup the first officer.

2:51:48 PM- Northwest Precinct dispatch provides responding officers with an update.

2:53:45 PM- Northwest Precinct dispatches two “B Shift” Northeast Precinct cars to respond and provides them with information about the call.

2:55:45 PM- First officers arrive on scene and advising that the scene is Signal 88.  Northwest Precinct dispatch then cancels the two “B Shift” cars and sends them to a different call.

Omaha Fire & Rescue was requested; however, all parties were treated BLS and refused transport.

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