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‘I Want Her Out Of My House’: Crisis Center Dispatchers Defuse Domestic Disturbances Before They Turn Violent

911 dispatchers receive a variety of calls that range from domestic disturbances to a strange carjacking.

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Calls concerning domestic disturbances are common at Chagrin Valley Dispatch, a Cleveland-area emergency dispatch center featured in the Oxygen series “911 Crisis Center,” airing Saturdays at 9/8c. 

While each situation is different, there are overlaps in the dynamics. “There’s three sides to every story – his side, her side, and the truth,” observed a dispatcher.  

This turned out to be accurate when dispatchers got conflicting information about a home situation that turned into a case of he said, she said. 

“I want her out of my house,” an agitated man could be heard saying. Meanwhile, another dispatcher picked up a call from a woman who said, “I want someone to walk me out with my property.”

Dispatchers knew that the calls, which were interrupted by hollering, were coming from the same residence. They instructed the callers to keep separate from each other until police arrived. 

In another domestic disturbance, a caller said his girlfriend was throwing his clothes and trying to start a fight. Adding urgency to the call was the fact that he reported there were three children in the house and that the woman was licensed to carry a gun. “She’s got it on her,” he said.

“My officers are going to be there soon,” a 911 dispatcher assured the caller. “But if she has a weapon and there's children in the house, I need to keep you guys safe, OK." 

“Being a dispatcher, you’re listening for indicators — how they’re talking, what they’re saying,” 911 dispatcher Jackie Chappuies told producers after the call. “We call it active listening.” 

Officers arrived on the scene. “Usually when people say that there’s a weapon involved they know it’s gonna get police there in a more timely manner,” said Chappuies. “Real or fake, it’s not for me to determine. It’s for the officers on scene after their investigation.”

While it was first thought that the female was the aggressor and she had a gun, it ended up that no gun was involved at all. “It turns out that he is arrested,” said a dispatcher.

Later in the shift a caller dialed 911 and reported that he’d been carjacked outside his home. “I’ve been robbed at gunpoint,” he said, adding that the thieves took his car keys and his vehicle. 

As he spoke with the dispatcher, he realized his car was still in its parking spot. Dispatchers figured that the robbers couldn’t locate the car and left with just the keys.

To learn more about Chagrin Valley Dispatch, watch “911 Crisis Center,” airing Saturdays at 9/8c on Oxygen.

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