BF Middle School Staffer Rumored to Have Violated Protocol by Not Calling 911 to Report Intruder

In Uncategorized on September 10, 2008 at 8:26 pm

The Fly has learned that a BF Middle School staff member called School Resource Officer Chris McDowell’s cell phone to report Monday’s intruder instead of dialing 911.

Police dispatchers and other police officers learned of the call only when McDowell entered his patrol vehicle and announced via 2-way radio that he was responding to BF for a report of an “emotionally disturbed person” in the building.

The Fly wonders what person decided to bypass 911, and what would have happened if McDowell was unable to answer his cell phone.

3balls Golf

  1. Never mind that the situation was handled without anyone getting hurt. We have to keep complaining! We have to keep using labels such as “idiot”!

  2. Who is “The Fly”

  3. Maybe the “idiot” knew that the way to get the FASTEST police response would be to NOT call the Northwest Bergen Central Dispatch.

    Perhaps the “idiot” was actually very smart indeed.

  4. Wow. That was dumb. Calling a cell phone to report a deranged intruder in a school.

  5. PJ… I’m sure you are aware, but if you are not….

    From nj.com

    Bergen County’s Democratic powerbroker indicted on corruption charges

    by Jeff Whelan/The Star-Ledger Tuesday September 09, 2008, 5:24 PM

    Bergen County Democratic Chairman Joseph Ferriero, one of the state’s most powerful political figures, was indicted today by a federal grand jury on corruption charges.

    Dennis Oury, an attorney for the Bergen Democrats and a partner in a private consulting firm with Ferriero, was also indicted.



    How about starting a new thread on this one?

  6. Hey, fly boy????? Why the name calling? Can you have an adult conversation or must you resort to childish name calling? It’s the mark of the intellectually inferior.

  7. based on some of the stories we’ve heard of slow 911 response lately, maybe this staffer did the right thing and knew how to get someone — and someone who had prior experience with the guy — there fastest. A teacher who witnessed said the police were there in under 3 minutes.

  8. Your headline cites a “rumor” but you’ve condemned the staff member as an “idiot” by the last paragraph. Are you sure you don’t want to wait for any facts before you pass judgement? Or is the pot better stirred with your own leaps of idiocy and ignorance?

  9. My experience with the Ridgewood Police is that they do an excellent job with theses types of difficult and thankfully unusual situations …The staff at BF did a GREAT job! But what would have happened if it turned out to be the “worst case scenario”? These procedures are in place for a reason. In a crisis they have to be followed, if they prove be inadequate then they can be reviewed and changed.

  10. Isn’t Chris McDowell a member of the Ridgewood Police Department? The police were called, as protocol dictates.

  11. “Isn’t Chris McDowell a member of the Ridgewood Police Department? The police were called, as protocol dictates.”

    If he happened to have taken a vacation day, was out of town, and this were a true critical situation, you would have been screwed.

    Just call 911 or 201-652-3900 like you should have in the first place.

  12. The intruder was a former student known to the staff. A judgment was made by the person best able to assess the situation–the staffer who was observing the intruder face to face. It turned out to be the right judgment. One thing I have learned in the management of any organization: hire good people, train them well, and then TRUST them to do their jobs. Don’t micromanage all decision-making with inflexible policies.

  13. Rumor has it- three individuals contacted the police. One called McDowell, the other two called 9-1-1.

    It’s called teamwork.

  14. Don’t micromanage all decision-making with inflexible policies.

    No, I think it’s better to do Monday-morning quarterbacking and call people “idiots”! And then conveniently change the message to “people”!!

  15. “It’s called teamwork.”

    It’s called B.S. The 911 center has no record of receiving a call from BF. They were notified when McDowell informed them via radio.

  16. Copied directly from the Village’s official website:

    Residents should always be prepared to give their location when calling 9-1-1. New technologies do not, in many instances, provide location information to 9-1-1 operators. Cellular phone calls and calls from phones connected to computer networks may not provide 9-1-1 operators with information regading the location of the calling party. If the caller becomes disconnected or cannot be understood by the operator, public safety response may not be possible. Whenever you call 9-1-1 for a life or property EMERGENCY, speak slowly and distinctly and have your location available. The 9-1-1 operators have been trained to provide you with necessary information so do not hang up until you are advised to do so.

  17. 10:56 –

    Re: “One thing I have learned in the management of any organization: hire good people, train them well, and then TRUST them to do their jobs. Don’t micromanage all decision-making with inflexible policies.”

    Truer words were never spoken.

  18. > > "It's called teamwork."

    > It's called B.S.

    It's called perpetual complaining!

  19. > > > "It's called teamwork."

    > > It's called B.S.

    > It's called perpetual complaining!

    It's called knee-jerk blind support of the administration.

    Did you check with NBCD about the existance of a 911 call?

  20. Did you check your axe before grinding it?

  21. School staff members are not police officers. They should never confront and worse, corner an emotionally disturbed person. They are neither trained nor equipped for such a confrontation.

    What if that man started to assault the staff members? What if the man had a knife or gun? There could have been a major problem by confronting and cornering a person who is on the edge with no way to protect the school or more importantly other lives.

    Im not saying that they made a bad choice, however I would be more concerned with putting the school in immediate lock down and making sure no child came anywhere near this man.

    What the staff members did was risky and a gamble. It took guts and got the job done, but next time I would plan a more thought out procedure for an intruder.

  22. Ah, quit yer bitchin! Now they’ll call both in the future. Kudos to all involved.

  23. I glad the staff members did what had to be done to keep our kids safe and didn’t run and hide behind their union contracts.

  24. 6:59 —

    Yeah, you know how those union members are always hiding behind their contracts in moments of crisis & public safety.

    Thanks for posting this important reminder on 9/11!

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