MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A new 911 phone call protocol is causing some controversy in Minneapolis.
Minneapolis police are now asking 911 callers to provide their name to dispatch before officers respond. The move is an effort to help protect police from potentially dangerous situations.
“It’s all based on the ambush killings of officers throughout this country,” former Golden Valley police officer and use of force expert Joe Dutton said.
The new protocol went into effect on July 17, the same day three police officers were shot and killed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. But some people in the community don’t want to give their name out when calling in a crime.
“They’re scared, they’re afraid, they’re upset, they’re nervous of retaliation,” VJ Smith, president of the Minneapolis MAD DADS group said. “Especially our block club leaders, some of them are afraid.”
In a statement Minneapolis police said in part:
“Callers can request to not be seen by a responding officer and they can request to not be contacted for follow up. We are asking dispatchers to get caller’s names, if possible, in an attempt to sift through fictitious calls that may be used to entice officers to an area where their safety, and the safety of others, could be jeopardized.”
A spokesperson for Minneapolis police also told WCCO if a 911 caller refuses to give their name, dispatch will try to verify additional information about the reported crime before sending an officer. Dutton says that would also change how police respond.
“They’ll send cars but if somebody’s not willing to give up their identification they’re going to take a different approach to that call,” he said.
Minneapolis police do still have a non-emergency tip line where people can call in information anonymously about a crime.