Southeast Portland

'I don't call 9-1-1 for no reason'

'I don't call 9-1-1 for no reason'

PORTLAND, Ore. - A local man feels a 9-1-1 operator didn't do enough to help out when he called about a suspicious person he spotted outside his home.

Matt Schneider of Southeast Portland said he got a little worried when he came home Thursday night and noticed his screen doors were slid open. Then he saw a Jeep at the bottom of his driveway that seemed out of place.

"There was a guy asleep in the passenger seat," he said.

So Schneider called 9-1-1, believing that the man in the Jeep was perhaps with someone else and robbing houses in the neighborhood. He said he was told to call the non-emergency number instead.

Schneider decided to take a look at his home security camera and saw that he was right - there was a man, a different person than the one he had seen in the Jeep, on his property. So he called 9-1-1 again.

"And then I heard them (the guys in the Jeep) pulling out, so I got in my car to follow them a bit and they kept going up the road, stopping at every house," he said.

Schneider said the cops came close to nabbing the two, but in the end they lost the Jeep.

He's now frustrated that the 9-1-1 operator didn't send someone out the first time he called.

"I don't call 9-1-1 for no reason," he said.

No one from the 9-1-1 center was available to talk with us on Friday about the call, but we did talk with people familiar with how 9-1-1 works. We were told that it really depends on how the dispatcher perceives the immediacy of the situation.

And different cities have different policies. In Portland, for example, 9-1-1 operators will not sent a cop to a car wreck unless there is an injury or it is blocking a road. But this reporter's car was rear-ended in Clark County and 9-1-1 sent a deputy to sort it out, even though no one was hurt.

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