Stabbing victim sues dispatch software company over procedures that delayed police arrival

A Utah woman is suing the company that provides dispatch software to the Salt Lake City police department, saying its protocols prevented her from receiving help after she was stabbed by a home invader, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

Bre Lasley and her sister called 911 four times after the stranger stabbed Lasley in 2015, but Priority Dispatch’s protocols required them to answer a series of scripted prompts about the situation and their attacker before help would be sent. As a result, only one officer arrived at the scene, and that was only because he happened to be in the neighborhood and heard the women’s cries for help, the paper reported.

{mosads}“It’s a system set up for failure,” Lasley told the paper. “It’s not a system set up to help in that situation. You don’t have time to answer questions. Literally every second matters.”

Lasley only discovered after the fact that the officer, who shot and killed her attacker upon arriving, had not been sent as a result of her call.

“I think about all the seconds and all the minutes that we were fighting that we could have had help. That we should have had help,” she said. “But we didn’t.”

“Bre and her sister did what everyone in their situation would hope to do — successfully call 911,” Lasley’s attorney Michael Young wrote. “Bre and her sister trusted in [Priority Dispatch’s] software system to help them. Instead, their calls for help did not generate a response.”

Salt Lake City police officials told the newspaper they only use the company for the Fire Department and declined to answer questions about whether it had altered protocols in recent years. As early as June 2014, police leaders had called for relaxing the rigid protocols, according to the Tribune.

The Hill has reached out to Priority Dispatch and the Salt Lake City PD for comment.

Tags 911 Salt Lake City

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