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Baker County Oregon Incident Dispatcher Team Assists With Arrest of Homicide Suspect

Author: Jerry Boyd, Director, Baker County (Oregon) Consolidated 9-1-1 Dispatch

Copyright: Copyright 9-1-1 Magazine, Feature Content

Date: 2011-02-02
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At 0310 hours on January 27, 2011 Baker County Consolidated 9-1-1 Dispatch received a report of a gunshot victim in a vehicle in the small mountain resort town of Sumpter, Oregon.  Local volunteer medics were dispatched along with Baker County Sheriffs Deputies.  Within minutes the medics had pronounced the victim deceased and Deputies had identified a named suspect who was believed to be in the area.

Sumpter is a very historic gold mine era town and there have been no known murders in the community since the gold rush era.  The Baker County Major Crimes Task Force, consisting of Baker County Sheriffs Office, Baker City Police, Oregon State Police and Baker County District Attorney personnel responded and a command post was established in the Sumpter City Hall.

Early on in the investigation and search for the suspect the Baker County Undersheriff requested the response of the new  Baker County 9-1-1 Dispatch Type II Mobile Communications Unit.  It was enroute within four minutes of the request and was staffed by Chris Galiszewski our Communications Technician and Senior Incident Dispatcher Margaret Sackos.

Once established adjacent to the CP the MCU and Incident Dispatchers performed a number of valuable services over a period of nearly 12 hours.  A partial list of duties performed includes:

  • handling all on scene radio traffic on an interoperable radio channel ultimately used by the five law enforcement agencies involved in the investigation thus relieving the dispatch center from this burden
  • documenting all activities on our on-board CAD system which is integrated to the main CAD server in the dispatch center
  • coordinating logistics requests between the CP and dispatch center
  • producing and reproducing for distribution diagrams of what was believed to be the suspect’s residence and adjacent properties that needed evacuation
  • downloading and printing aerial maps of the suspect location and surrounding locations
  • providing internet access via our on board “wi-fi” to laptops used by forensic and tactical personnel
  • obtaining criminal histories and vehicle registered to information regarding the suspect
  • making copies of search warrant affidavits for investigators
  • “pinging” the suspect’s cell phone and obtaining records via subpoena

And, also appreciated, providing hot coffee, water and snacks to over 50 personnel from our on board provisions.

The incident reached a safe and successful conclusion when the Tactical Response Team from adjacent Union County, responding on mutual aid, utilized tear gas and other tactics to force the armed suspect from his residence.  He and two accomplices were taken into custody without further incident.

There were a few learning points for our Incident Dispatch Team (IDT) that will be incorporated into some minor modifications of our new Type II MCU.  This was only its fourth deployment and its first deployment on a law enforcement mission.  Of equal importance is the positive impression made on over 50 LEOs regarding the capability this resource, which includes highly skilled Incident Dispatchers, provides in a major policing incident.  Command level personnel from five different law enforcement agencies made unsolicited comments that in any similar incident in the future this resource will be requested.

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