Emergency Calls Decline after Bombing

Article excerpt

Oklahoma City police received fewer emergency calls in the two weeks following the April 19 bombing in downtown Oklahoma City.

Police dispatches not related to the bomb were reduced by 50 percent on April 19, and 10 percent over the next two weeks, said police spokesman Capt. Bill Citty.

Oklahoma City police normally route officers to 63 percent of the 2,050 calls they average daily. Only 31 percent of 2,969 calls required dispatches on April 19.

"Usually crime correlates with the number of calls. It was a weird day because we actually received more calls" but sent less officers.

The number of calls returned to normal over the next two weeks but dispatches were needed on only 53 percent. Citty said officers responded to all calls needing emergency assistance.

Oklahoma City police have worked about 20,000 hours in overtime since April 19 in order to secure the bomb area and continue normal operations.

No looting was reported by businesses damaged in the downtown blast. Citty said police perimeters were established early on April 19.

"I even heard stories of gang members who stopped to help people, instead of taking advantage of the situation."

Bomb-related scams have been reported to Oklahoma City police. "Some people took advantage of people's gratitude," Citty said.

An electronics store lost equipment it loaned to several individuals falsely representing themselves as rescue workers. Nationwide, there have been reports of people collecting donations for false charities. . . The Oklahoma Supreme Court has accepted the resignation of William L. Anderson from the bar.

The court said Anderson, a 75-year-old attorney convicted last year of bribery, submitted his resignation from the Oklahoma Bar Association in February.

The court said Anderson may not apply for reinstatement to the bar for five years.

Anderson was convicted of bribing a former Oklahoma Corporation commissioner. He faced a Bar Association grievance involving the conviction. . . Legal Aid of Western Oklahoma Inc. played a vital role in Oklahoma City's comprehensive disaster response since the April 19 bombing, in the opinion of one government official. …