Saskatoon’s police chief admits the police service let down the public in its delayed response to a car crash on 20th Street in August.
At Tuesday’s Board of Police Commissioners meeting, Weighill was asked if the delay was because the crash happened in the “inner city” early in the morning.
“That’s absolutely not true. We respond to calls in every area in the city in the same manner, we follow certain protocol, it doesn’t matter what area of the city it’s in,” he told reporters.
It took 911 dispatchers an hour to send emergency vehicles to the accident scene just outside Nestor’s Bakery on Aug. 28. The 62-year-old driver, George Buxton, had suffered a medical emergency and was killed in the crash, but Weighill said it’s unclear if he died before or after police arrived.
A recent report confirmed that five different calls were taken by three dispatchers. Some of those calls came from employees at the bakery who witnessed the crash. Although Weighill said the call takers did not delve deep enough to determine how serious it was, he also pointed out that it is the only dispatch incident he’s been aware of during his nine years as chief.
“When I talked to the complaint takers, I mean, this incident was weighing heavily on their minds as well. It’s not just that they’ve done it and they’ve forgotten about it and they’re going to get a reprimand.” he said.
The emergency dispatchers received written reprimands after being found in neglect of duty. Weighill said they will receive enhanced training on the manner and order in which they should question callers.
The Public Complaints Commission will be reviewing the entire file to determine if any police misconduct took place.