Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "911" ...

  • Boston Globe: Losing Laura

    The needless death of a journalist’s wife from an asthma attack outside a locked hospital door revealed stunning weakness in Massachusetts’ emergency response system, sending the widowed journalist on a painful quest to document everything that went wrong and why Laura’s caregivers didn’t tell him the truth — a quest that changed the way the state’s 911 operators are trained to take emergency calls.
  • Mental Health and Policing

    Stories on mental health and policing seekt to bring attention to the concern raised by advocates of the mentally ill—that police officers are often ill-equipped to handle calls for people in mental distress. It’s estimated as many as half of fatal police encounters involve people in mental health crisis. Over the course of several months, WBAL told the stories of 3 young men, shot and killed by police in suburban Maryland counties. In each case, a mental health history was involved. WBAL revealed the lack of uniform training and consistent use of crisis intervention teams. Without better effort to equip police, as first responders, a call to 911 can lead to a tragic result.
  • Dying For Help: Fixing The Nation's Emergency Response System

    Two year investigation fixes stunning weaknesses in the nation’s 911 system, resulting in improvements at the FCC and state governments, an elegant invention to solve the problem, and two US patents that will make us all safer.
  • Mental Health and Policing

    Our stories on mental health and policing sought to bring attention to the concern raised by advocates of the mentally ill—that police officers are often ill-equipped to handle calls for people in mental distress. It’s estimated as many as half of fatal police encounters involve people in mental health crisis. Over the course of several months, we told the stories of 3 young men, shot and killed by police in suburban Maryland counties. In each case, a mental health history was involved. We revealed the lack of uniform training and consistent use of crisis intervention teams. Without better effort to equip police, as first responders, a call to 911 can lead to a tragic result. http://www.wbaltv.com/article/mental-health-and-policing/8566410
  • Unemployment Under Fire

    When I first questioned Michigan Governor Rick Snyder about unemployment fraud allegations levied against citizens, I would soon learn how widespread an issue this was for potentially innocent citizens. Many had their tax returns intercepted and wages garnished without being given an opportunity to have a hearing. https://vimeo.com/151977911
  • NOPD: Call Waiting

    It’s one of the most basic – and critical – services provided by any city: Call police in an emergency and get a quick response. But for crime victims in New Orleans, police response times have skyrocketed as the number of cops has diminished. Delays can mean the difference between life and death, between solving a crime and allowing a predator to strike again. WWL-TV and The New Orleans Advocate worked together to analyze almost 3 million calls for service to the New Orleans Police Department over the last five years. The joint analysis found that NOPD response times to 911 calls have tripled since 2010 to an average wait of 79 minutes, saddling New Orleans with some of the longest police response times of any major American city. http://theadvocate.com/news/neworleans/neworleansnews/13838324-125/live-chat-advocate-wwl-tv-experts https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dQ8kuYBNOM&feature=youtu.be http://www.wwltv.com/story/news/local/investigations/2016/01/08/call-waiting-nopd/78503840/
  • 911: Lost On The Line

    A single death. A single 911 call. Together they reveal a nationwide problem: roughly half of all cell phone calls to 911 don't allow dispatchers to see the callers' location. Continuing our coverage over 10 major broadcast stories, a 30 minute primetime special, and a national USA Today article, we exposed this major public safety crisis and held the powerful accountable. Now the problem is getting fixed, and saving lives. NOTE: This story was primarily MMJ, produced by the reporter working alone as photographer and editor. https://youtu.be/XW7_pFKEDKc http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/02/22/cellphone-911-lack-location-data/23570499/ http://www.11alive.com/story/news/local/investigations/2015/01/31/911-location-problems-/22645139/
  • 911 Dispatch Delay

    In November of 2012, a man dialed 911 for help from his apartment which had caught fire. The fire spread quickly while he was on the phone with 911. The fire took his life. An internal investigation that began the next morning and continued for the next year determined a failure to properly dispatch the fire department led to a nearly five minute delay in response. It was only the second time in the history of the Onondaga County 911 center a dispatch delay had led, in part, to a fatality. The delay was never revealed. Not to the man's family, the fire department or the public. Three years after the fire our investigation of more than eight months led to all of those parties learning of the deadly delay. We also discovered the dispatcher who was determined to be at fault served no punishment and was not retrained. http://cnycentral.com/news/local/911-commissioner-5-minute-dispatch-delay-blamed-partly-for-fiery-death http://cnycentral.com/news/local/fire-victim-tells-911-call-taker-i-dont-want-to-die-during-dispatch-delay https://youtu.be/WqkQpYKN65E https://youtu.be/TAsu2G4oWpo https://youtu.be/vLbMZltc-sE https://youtu.be/IGy14aM64GI
  • Police Wife: The Secret Epidemic of Domestic Violence

    "Police Wife" shows that spousal abuse is much more prevalent in police homes than in the wider population and that most police departments do little to stop it. The book also shows that the problem has impacts well beyond police families and is connected to a wide range of other issues, including botched responses to 911 domestic calls at other homes, police sexual harassment of women cops and female drivers at traffic stops, police killings of African Americans and growing social inequality. This is by all evidence the first book worldwide in journalistic form on this issue.
  • Waiting for Help

    The breaking news was a mobile home fire on a bitterly cold night. A WSPA photographer captured the aftermath, wrecked home, shivering children, flashing lights on the trucks. The people there, the neighbors mostly, kept asking the same question, “Why did it take so long for firefighters to show up?” It was easy to check and see just how long it took those first responders to arrive and the answer didn’t make sense. WSPA discovered the 911 calls from the fire gave all the correct information including the right address and a full description of the emergency. 911 dispatchers heard that information clearly and repeated it back exactly. Then, they sent the wrong stations to the wrong address in a different city. WSPA used dispatch logs, 911 recordings and interviews to expose a problem with the automated dispatch software that was happening in agencies across the area. With lives at stake, a simple oversight was causing dangerous delays. As a result of WSPA's report, the 911 agency promised sweeping changes. The follow-up reports hold them accountable for that effort.