Briefly parse the overall structure of the call, indicating the phases by line number(s).
The transcribed conversation between 911 and the caller begins at line 1 when the Minneapolis
police and fire pick the lady’s call. They introduce themselves and in line 5 they welcome the
caller to state her problem. The caller states her problem between line 6 and 14 as 911 listen to
her. It is after they have listened to her issue that they begin getting to the bottom of the facts by
asking investigative and routine questions as seen in line 15 and 23. The purpose of this is to
gather as much accurate information as possible to help them is assisting the lady better.
From the line of question, the police seem to be a little bit skeptical, but as the conversation
progresses, this appears to change as highlighted between line 33 and 51. I find it odd for the
police to take that long to get the name of the caller and the location from which she was calling.
I believe the police should have requested this information from the onset of the call. It is also
apparent that the kind of questions the police ask is leading and are meant to let the caller give as
much information as possible to enable the police to help them appropriately.
The overall structure of this call can be categorized into four parts, namely, the introduction, the
recording of the statement, the provision of solutions, and the action plan. The line between 1
and 12 can be classified as the introduction since this is whereby the parties begin talking, and
the issue is well explained. The next line between 15 and 37 is the recording of the state whereby
the police and the woman interact, and the woman can give the details of her statement. Between
line 38 and 72 we see the two interacting a several solutions offered. The climax of this call is
between line 73 and 80 when an action plan is agreed.
2. Within the request, how does the caller present her relationship to the problem?
The caller presents her relationship o the problem between line 7 and 14. There is a car that has
been sitting across the street of her house for some time with the headlights on. She is not sure
whether somebody is in the car or someone forgot to switch the lights on. The fact that it is
across the street with the lights on is making her nervous.
Between line 24 and 27 she further explains that she is not sure of the neighbors to which the car
belonged. From the conversation above, it is apparent that the caller is just nervous. This is
because she says she is not sure whether one of her neighbors just got out of the vehicle and left
3. What position does the caller take as to whether there is a problem that would warrant
police assistance? How does this position become manifest and how is it justified?
The caller takes several positions; some warrant police assistance whereas others do not. For
example, when she initially calls between line 6 and 14, it is apparent that she needs help. A
suspicious vehicle is parked across a street of her house at night with the headlights on. She is
not sure who the owner of the car is as it has been in that state for quite a while. Secondly, she
can not authoritatively state that it belongs to one of the neighbors since she saw now of the
neighbors coming out of the said vehicle.
Line 30 and 32 is another line that shows that the caller is in trouble and needs assistance. She is
alone in the house with her kids who are asleep. She can thus not leave the house to go and check
the car since this means that she will leave the kids unattended to. Since she is all alone in the
house with her kids at night, she needs a helping hand from the police.
Between line 69 and 72, she tells the police that the presence of the car is making her nervous
and suggests that maybe the owner of the vehicle could be in trouble and need assistance. She
shifts the issue from herself to the subject who is the car owner.
As I had explained earlier, some sentiments of the caller do not warrant police assistance. For
example, between line 17 and 18, we realize that the vehicle was parked in the area for a short
time. This is quite normal especially at such time of the night. The car probably belonged to one
of the neighbors who had come to pick something just that she didn’t see the neighbor getting
out of the car. It could also be a cab that has been requested by one of the neighbors, and the
driver had decided to lower the seat as he waits for the client in the vicinity.
Between line 24 and 27, she tells the police that probably the car belonged to the neighbors. This
says you that chances the vehicle belongs to one of the neighbors is high because she comes with
this suggestion. She might have seen the car before only that she is not able to attach the right
face to that car at that given moment.
Line 60 is another line that tells us that caller does not need the police assistance. The strange car
is parked across the street of her house, but the front and rear lights are on. This signals that
whoever parked it there is not up to any malice since drivers coming from either side can easily
spot the car. In most cases. Drivers who want to cause harm at night often try to hide their
identity by revealing as little information as possible.
Last, but not least between line 66 and 68 she is not sure of the time that the vehicle was parked
across her street. It could be that the car was shortly parked on the street and that by the time the
police arrive at the scene, the vehicle will be gone.
4. Which questions by 911 are primarily investigative rather than routine? Do these
investigative questions suggest that 911's level of skepticism remains more or less constant,
or do you detect a substantial shift in skepticism over the course of the call?
There is a specific question that 911 asks that can be classified as investigative and not routine. It
is essential to ask these questions to respond appropriately to the distress calls of the members of
the public. The investigative questions that the 911 ask tend to reveal that the level of skepticism
of the police does not remain constant as it changes over the course of the call. Since some
members of the public have abused the 911 calls before by raising false alarms, the levels of
skepticism are warranted.
In this transcribed call between the police and the caller, the level of skepticism is apparent as the
police take time to know the identity of the caller or the location in which she is calling them
from. The police ask for the apartment name of the caller and her name when they are in the
middle of the conversation. This is critical information that the police ought to have asked on the
onset of the call. The police were skeptical about this particular caller until she told them she was
alone in the house with her kids.
The question that the caller asks between line 28 and 29 can be categorized as investigative and
not routine. The lady had told the police that she was not sure of whether the occupants of the car
were watching her from the vehicle or it was one of the neighbors, but the police go ahead and
ask her whether she had checked the vehicle. The police are trying to establish some facts from
the woman before they take appropriate action by asking this question.
Between line 33 and 35, the police stick to the same reasoning. When the woman says that she
had seen the color of the car, the cops inquire from her whether she had also seen someone inside
the vehicle. The police believe that if she can see that the color is white with a black top, then the
chances are that she might as well see if the vehicle has occupants. This is not a routine question
but an investigative question that has arisen based on the information that the woman has
provided to the police.
Line 62 and 64 show the as the police were interviewing the woman, they wanted to establish
facts so that they advise her accordingly. They tell her that probably the vehicle was picking or
had dropped someone. The conversation ends with the promise that the police would send
someone in the neighborhood to check the suspicious vehicle.