Minneapolis 911 reinstates recorded messageby Brandt Williams, Minnesota Public Radio
MINNEAPOLIS — Callers to 911 in Minneapolis will now hear a recorded message telling them to stay on the line if an operator doesn't immediately answer their call.
The city is reinstating the message, said Heather Hunt, director of emergency communications, after several witnesses to last month's mass shooting hung up before 911 operators could take their calls. According to police reports, two employees inside Accent Signage couldn't get through to 911 as a former colleague shot and killed five people before killing himself.
Hunt said the city stopped using the outgoing message a few years ago because it wasn't clear that it prevented people from hanging up.
"The main point of having the recording is to let people who have called 911 and are not getting an immediate answer, due to a high level of business, that they've called the right number; they've reached the right place; please don't hang up and we'll get to you just as soon as we can," Hunt said.
Hunt said police responded to the shooting in less than five minutes, faster than their average response time.