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rude 911 operator. It was nearly 8 minutes after the phonecall that a officer was dispatched and another 14 minutes for one to arrive.

Posted by on Feb. 8, 2012 at 12:18 PM
  • 151 Replies

Emergency call logs show that nearly eight minutes elapsed between when a caseworker called 911 to report that Josh Powell's children were in danger and when sheriff's deputies were dispatched, and it took another 14 minutes for a deputy to get to the home.

The Associated Press obtained the logs Wednesday night under a public records request.

Recently released audio tapes of the 911 calls raised questions about the dispatch center's handling of the caseworker's calls, which detailed that Powell, the husband of a missing Utah woman, had locked her out of the house during what was supposed to be a supervised visit with his two young sons.

Minutes later, Powell torched the home, killing all three.

The recordings showed that the officer who took her call at the 911 center engaged in nearly seven minutes of questioning that ended with him saying he didn't know how long it would be before a deputy could respond.

The audio didn't make clear when the deputy was dispatched. The logs show that apparently happened about a minute after the call ended.

It wasn't known if a quicker response could have saved the boys, who had also been attacked with a hatchet.

Social worker's 911 call released in Powell murder-suicide

It took almost two minutes from the start of the call for the dispatcher to learn Powell's address and more than three minutes to understand that caseworker Elizabeth Griffin-Hall was there to supervise a child custody visit. Near the end of the call, she asked how long before officers could get there.

"I don't know, ma'am," he said. "We have to respond to emergency life-threatening situations first."

She responded: "This could be life-threatening ... I'm afraid for their lives!"

The agency that runs the call center said it would review the matter and start a disciplinary investigation if necessary.

The call from Griffin-Hall went to a communications officer at the Law Enforcement Support Center in Tacoma, NBC station KING 5 of Seattle reported. Here is part of their exchange:

"I'm on a supervised visitation for a court ordered visit, and something really weird has happened,” she says.

The officer needs the address. Elizabeth struggles to find it.

One minute, 24 seconds in: "But I think I need help right away … he's on very short leash with DSHS and CPS has been involved and this is the craziest thing ... he looked right at me and closed the door.”

For the second time, Griffin-Hall identifies the man as Josh Powell. She's heard the kids crying. Less than two minutes have gone by. She sounds calm, but concerned.

"And I'd like to pull out of the driveway because I smell gasoline and he won't let me in," she said.

Officials: Powell children had head and neck wounds

The next minute is a confused exchange between Elizabeth and the officer. He asks whose house it is. He doesn't seem to understand what she means by a supervised visit. He doesn't recognize who Powell is.

Three minutes in, the situation is becoming clearer, but there is still no sense of urgency.

"Okay, so you're supposed to be there to supervise Josh Powell's visit with the children?"

"Yes ... that's correct ... and he's the husband of missing Susan Powell, this is a high-profile case.”

The officer asks again for his name -- how to spell it, what he was wearing.

Griffin-Hall's been on the 911 call over six minutes -- she's still not sure when help will arrive.

Griffin-Hall: "Okay, how long will it be?

Officer: "I don't know ma’am ... they have to respond to life-threatening emergencies ... life-threatening situations first."

Griffin-Hall: "Well this could be life-threatening!"

She hangs up and a short time later, the house erupts into flames. She calls again as she hears fire engines approaching.

“And he blew up the house and the kids!” she said.

Officer: "The kids and the father were in the house?"

Griffin-Hall: "Yes!"

by on Feb. 8, 2012 at 12:18 PM
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by +Logan on Feb. 8, 2012 at 12:27 PM
Bump for later
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by Gold Member on Feb. 8, 2012 at 12:27 PM


I don't think he was being an asshole. He wasn't very chatty and engaging, but hell he is a 911 operator doing serious calls all day. I myself was getting a little frustrated when she was struggling to find the address. Poor kids.

by on Feb. 8, 2012 at 12:28 PM
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I didn't think he was rude at all.  Clearly he was wrong not to take her seriously when she said it was life threatening.  That poor poor woman.  So many victims here.

by Silver Member on Feb. 8, 2012 at 12:39 PM

i think he was a little confused at first, but i dont think he was an asshole

my mom is a dispatcher, she has been for 23 years.. its their job to remain perfectly calm, they have to act like that in any given situation and ask so many questions and get all the info they need.

by on Feb. 8, 2012 at 12:52 PM
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I don't think he was rude, but I do think that he was getting everything confused. From working for a police agency while in college, he should have dispatched officers when he found out that it was a type of domestic case. Those can turn ugly very quickly, esp with her saying key words like "he won't let me in" "I can hear one of the kids crying" "he looked right at me and closed the door" and most of all "I smell gasoline".

by on Feb. 8, 2012 at 12:52 PM
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Ugh the fact he told her they have to respond to life threatening emergencies first, makes me sick.
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by on Feb. 8, 2012 at 12:54 PM

I bet he is kicking himself now....about it being a "non emergency". Those poor kids!

by on Feb. 8, 2012 at 1:08 PM
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 "you want to pull out of the driveway because you smell gasoline?"

"and who is there is exercise their visitation?"

"so you supervise and you're there to do the visit?"

"and who is there to supervise? you supervise yourself? wait a minute..if it's a supervised visit, you can't supervise yourself if you're the visitor"

"who visits with the children"

"ok so who visits with the children?"

"ok, so you're supposed to be there to supervise josh powell's visit with the children?"

"ok how did he gain access to the children before you got there?"

IMO - he wastes precious time NOT listening to this lady and making her repeat several times info that had already been told to him. I felt she handled herself very calmly and professionally on the phone.

And then to hear him say "They have to respond to emergency, life threatening situations first, the first available deputy.."

And she's begging for help to come to the house. That poor lady.

by on Feb. 8, 2012 at 1:10 PM

 Bump to listen to later.

by on Feb. 8, 2012 at 1:10 PM
Bump for when I'm not mobile
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