Please make a note that representatives from Mayor Michael Hancock's office or anyone else previously considered a "dignitary" will no longer be given enhanced service when they contact police.
My heart aches.
In December, the management that oversees Denver's 911 system adopted a policy that gave "important" individuals representing federal, state, or local government priority policing.
When a "dignitary" called the police in Denver, they were, in essence, to receive an immediate response.
Fortunately common sense prevailed, and the policy was rescinded this week.
I am sure the Denver Post's attention on this unfair rule helped to force the change.
Obviously, citizens were less than impressed that the mayor or anyone else should get immediate attention when needing police for non-emergencies, while all other "commoners" had to wait in line.
The impetus behind the policy, as reported by the Denver Post, was that the mayor's office had complained to leadership in the Denver Police Department after they had to wait over 35 minutes to talk to an officer about a burglary report.
Wow, 35 whole minutes on a busy shift in big city?
...Daelene Mix, communications director for for the city's safety department, said the policy had caused confusion and was never intended to supersede other policies governing prioritizing of police resources.Really?
"We didn't want the appearance of special treatment for elected officials," Mix said. "That wasn't the intent at all..."
I would say that the policy was as convincing an example of special treatment that one will find.
Researching this story, a couple of themes are prevalent:
- An angry mayor's office resulted in policy changes because they were not given preferential treatment by police; and,
- A fired dispatcher (Traci Rhodes) dared put a "dignitary" in the queue behind others waiting to talk to police--probably behind undeserving folks like a teacher, a retiree, or some factory janitor.
I hope that Ms. Rhodes finds a much better job, and that future policies of priority service for the "wealthy" are met with laughter by those in power.
Note: Having been a policing practitioner, I realize that mayors and other "dignitaries" do get enhanced police services anway--but to create a policy mandating it?