Stories

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

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Search results for "911 call" ...

  • 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/
  • 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.
  • Judge Minaldi arrest

    In January of 2014, an anonymous tip was called in to KPLC-TV about a U.S. District Judge who refused to stop her vehicle for officers in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The officers were called out on a complaint about an erratic driver. The judge was eventually stopped and given a ticket for an open container. The caller claimed there was more to the story and a cover-up was underway. After multiple requests to the Lake Charles Police Dept., a press release was issued stating that Judge Patricia Minaldi was cited for having an open container in her vehicle. Initial open records requests were denied, claiming an open investigation. Once Minaldi paid a fine in Lake Charles City Court, KPLC-TV journalists requested a recording of the 911 call that led to the traffic stop. Later, KPLC-TV was able to obtain dash cam video of the judge arguing with officers and resisting their demands to get out of her vehicle. Once KPLC-TV's reports aired, Judge Minaldi was charged with DUI First Offense and was sentenced to probation. They believe the added charges were the result of public pressure after these reports aired.
  • Together Forever: Unforeseen tragedies forever bind best friends

    This was an enterprise story about two young women who were best friends since childhood who died tragically within a few months in 2012. Our story included fire inspection reports, police reports, legal filings, interviews with friends and family members and the heart-wrenching audio from a 911 call in the aftermath of a house fire that killed the first young woman. The reporting found that one young man was blamed by fire inspectors for causing the fire, but he was not criminally charged.
  • A 911 Call's Deadly Aftermath

    In 2013 the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette followed up on a tip that police visited the house of a woman 24 hours before she was killed in response to her disconnected 911 call. We quickly learned that there were numerous problems with the police response, which we documented in a series of stories. Police never spoke to or saw the caller; they talked only to a man at the house through a window (who turned out to be her killer); they never called a supervisor for guidance; and they could have been more aggressive in their efforts. We also reported that the situation was eerily similar to one 25 years earlier. Our stories led to new police protocols for handling domestic violence and “unknown trouble” calls as well as new powers for the Pittsburgh Citizen Police Review Board to review future police bureau policies.
  • Dallas’ 911 Call Center in Crisis

    “Dallas’ 911 Call Center in Crisis” by Tanya Eiserer and Scott Goldstein. Our investigation found that there was a systemic failure in the handling of a call for help from Deanna Cook, who was murdered while on the phone with a 911 operator.
  • Addressing 911

    It all started with a tip from people on the front lines, and quickly unraveled into a story that has sparked much needed oversight of Ingham County's new consolidated 911 center. The center merged two 911 dispatch centers into one back in June of 2012. In October, a group of first responders approached Reporter Ann Emmerich with alarming concerns about problems within the system. They believed at least two deaths could be connected to delayed response times because emergency crews were sent to the wrong address. They also believed county officials were trying to "cover up" the problems. Using the Freedom of Information Act, Ann Emmerich began digging into records from the 911 Dispatch Center. She obtained documented complaints from the Lansing Fire Department, call logs from the dispatch center, and time stamped recordings of 911 calls. Just days after Emmerich made those FOIA requests, Lansing's Mayor announced he would form a task force to investigate concerns with the County's 911 Center. At the time, there was no advisory board in place to oversee the center. Once officials went public with the formation of a task force, the original board that worked to establish the 911 center was brought back together to begin oversight.
  • Montgomery County Police Make Overtime Millions in 911 Call Center

    This story looks at the overtime pay in the 911 call center of the Montgomery County Police Department. Over the last five years, four officers made over a million dollars in overtime.
  • Code 3

    "'Code 3,' a two-day series that focused on ambulance delays in San Francisco, provided a rare glimpse inside an inherently complex and often secretive bureaucracy." Findings included: 439 people died while waiting for the ambulance to arrive; in 27 percent of high-priority medical calls, first responders failed to meet the city's time standard; and the city's 911 call center was the weakest link.