LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The Lufkin officer who shot and killed a man who was stabbing another person in March is back on the streets after a Grand Jury decided not to indict him.
The image of officer Blake Weatherspoon shooting a man that was attacking someone else with a knife is all that many people will see, but to get to that point just like every other call it starts at LPD inside the dispatch room.
"We're the unseen responders," Dispatch Deanna DalBalcon said. "When a call comes in it has to come to dispatch and then we have to relay that information to the officers so if it doesn't come to us the officer wouldn't have the information."
In the Weatherspoon case, dispatchers had a hard time getting information. When officer Weatherspoon was called out to Kurth Drive that Wednesday morning... he went with little information.... that's because dispatchers were having trouble with a 911 caller. Multiple times in the call the dispatcher was cussed at and called diragatory names.
DalBalcon said adrenaline rates are high on both ends of the call so dispatchers are trained to remain calm and deliberate in their questions.
"You want to bring them down and you want them to stay down," DalBalcon said. "They may never of had to call 911 before, so they don't know what to say. They want to tell you a back story and all you are trying to get is the main information you need. "
Lufkin Police said people should only call 911 when a crime is in progress, a fire or someone needing medical assistance. Dispatchers said they need to know the address or a landmark that is easy to find, the phone number in case they need to call you back, your name and to stay on the line and answer all the questions the dispatcher asks. Additional tips include staying calm, speaking clearly, being prepared to answer questions.