Reader upset over dispatch issues

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I would like to share what happened to a family member of mine on Thursday morning, Dec. 23, 2010.

My sister who works in the Critical Care Unit at Baptist East Hospital was on her way to work at 5:30 a.m. in the morning with her three children. She was taking them to her mother in laws, when she struck a deer on Highway 155. Obviously, she was upset but she took the time to check the children and herself before calling 911 to have a police officer come and take a report.

As everyone is aware we have changed dispatching services to Frankfort State Police post.

My sister was told by the lady dispatcher that someone would be in route to her location. At 6:14 a.m., I received a call from my sister on what had happened and I went to check on her and the children which took me about 10 minutes to get there.

They were all OK but the police had still not gotten there. I had my sister call again and again the dispatcher told her that a state police officer was on the way and she would check to see where he was in route.

She informed my sister that there were NO county or city police officers on duty and the state police were covering the area. Can someone tell me WHY on a Thursday morning at 5:30 a.m. that we have NO county or city police officers on duty? I thought we paid taxes for 24 hour, 7 days a week police officer coverage from our local police departments.
I have learned that is not the case.

So to finish my story, At 6:33 a.m. I drove five minutes down the road to the City of Taylorsville Police Dept. where I knocked on the door of an empty building and then I drove to the Sheriff’s Office and knocked on that door of another empty building.

I am sure at this time you are wondering what I did next. Many people in Spencer County know my family and there are over 100 generations of relatives that have lived here in this county.

So luckily we know a few people. What I did next is call the police myself. I called Kyle Bennett, Deputy Sheriff, at 7:01 a.m. and explained what had happened: the time of the call and the accident and that we — my sister, her three children, my mother and me have been sitting in 23-degree weather waiting for an officer to come and take a report.

Kyle wasn’t on duty officially until 7:30 a.m., but he got in his truck and drove from the county line and got there at 7:11a.m. A city police officer was dispatched out at 7 a.m. (when he came on duty) to our location from the state police post dispatcher and showed up at 7:11a.m.

No state police officer every showed up. So can someone tell my family where the state police officer was that the dispatcher called out to send to my sister’s accident at 5:50 a.m.? No, I would bet there was no one called out until 7 a.m. when the city police officer came on duty — which I find to be a complete lack of understanding on the part of the state police post dispatching department when it’s 23 degrees outside and a women and her three children are waiting for a police officer to come. My sister’s car was not drivable, so if her family and Kyle Bennett had not showed up, what then?
Who makes these decisions and what are they based on?
I understand no one was hurt and I am sure there are many emergencies that were much worse then my sister’s situation, BUT when a dispatcher says a police officer is on the way, It should NEVER take an hour and thirty minutes for help to come.

So first I would like to say thank you Kyle Bennett for taking my call and coming and checking on my family on Thursday morning. No one was hurt, thank God, but what if they were? Would it have taken an hour and thirty minutes for the police to show up or for the dispatchers to call and wake up our own police officers and have them come.

I am deeply disappointed in the services provided my family and I am deeply disappointed in the people that made decision to take the dispatching services out of Spencer County because I honestly believe this would not have happened on their watch.

I want everyone reading this to understand that I do not blame the police officers, but the politicians and our magistrates that made this decision to not have 24-hour police coverage through our own Spencer County departments, and our own dispatching services available to the tax-paying citizens of Spencer County.

This will become a catastrophe if we the citizens don’t voice our feelings and advice on giving better service, then who will and who will take responsibility for this?

Again, Thank you Kyle Bennett for your service as a Spencer County deputy sheriff.

Allison Greer Hughes