I received this press release today from the Long Beach Police Department detailing the excellent work of one of our emergency dispatchers.
Folks, this dispatcher is an example of the hard work and dedication of the men and women who work for the City of Long Beach.
On Thursday, September 13, 2012, at approximately 8:11 p.m., Long Beach Police officers responded to a call of a robbery that was occurring to an electronics store in the area of Pine Avenue and Willow Street.
When the robbery began, an individual inside the store dialed 9-1-1 and reported the incident to the dispatcher, Lily DeMasi, who has been a dispatcher with the Department for 16 years, but the caller had to end the conversation when the suspect approached. Lily then called back, but the suspect picked up the phone. The quick-thinking dispatcher posed as a customer and asked questions to keep him on the line to obtain additional information while distracting him from the scared employees as police were arriving.
Police arrived to the location quickly and took one suspect in custody. A second suspect fled into the neighborhood and a foot pursuit was initiated. A perimeter was established to contain the area, and although police lost sight of the fleeing suspect, they believed he was still within the perimeter.
A K-9 unit and police helicopter responded to assist in the search for the outstanding suspect. When officers announced over the microphone that the K-9 would be deployed to search for him, the suspect quickly surrendered and was taken into custody.
The loss was recovered and both suspects were taken into custody. Due to the ongoing investigation, they are only being identified as adult males at this time.
Businesses owners and employees should be aware that landline phones can provide an added level of security should police need to respond to an emergency. Anytime 9-1-1 is dialed from a landline phone, the exact address of the location is automatically displayed to the dispatcher, and if the caller is not able to speak to the dispatcher, this call is classified as an “incomplete 9-1-1,” and made a priority. A landline phone kept in an inconspicuous place at the business can be a discreet way for employees to summon police to their location in the event of an emergency, without compromising their safety.
Long Beach Police dispatchers receive extensive training to handle a variety of crisis situations, while simultaneously relaying crucial information to the officers who are responding to the scene. The LBPD commends Lily for her great work that led to the capture of the suspects while keeping the community safe in this situation, and thanks all of our hardworking dispatchers for the incredible work they do every day.