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October 25, 2014

Deadly workplace shooting prompts changes to 911 procedures

A deadly shooting at a Minneapolis business has prompted the city to change its 911 procedures, WCCO reports.

When Andrew Engeldinger opened fire at Accent Signage Systems on Sept. 27, at least four people were unable to connect with a 911 dispatcher.

Six people including Engeldinger were killed in the shooting.

WCCO says there were 65 calls into the dispatch center between 4 and 5 p.m. that day, 16 related to the shooting. Police arrived on scene five minutes after the first call to 911, quicker than the average response time of about eight minutes.

Since the shooting, the dispatch center is reverting back to their old procedure. Instead of a continued ring, an automated message will tell the caller to stay on the line if it’s safe to do so.

The Star Tribune says the city dropped the message a year ago because it didn’t seem to make a difference and some callers disliked getting a recording.

In the future, a new system will allow calls to be routed from a particular area where they would be handled by a special-incident dispatcher and allow other jurisdictions to answer calls when the center is overwhelmed.