Harrion 9-1-1 Call Protocol Questioned - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Harrion 9-1-1 call protocol questioned

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Helen Harrion   Source: Family Helen Harrion Source: Family
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Police continue to search for leads in the brutal murder of a Jackson woman. Sixty-seven year-old Helen Ruth Harrion was found behind her home Tuesday morning. She had been beaten and shot. 

Sources close to the investigation say the burglar bars were removed from the home and Harrion was pulled through the window.

Jackson Police Chief Lindsey Horton says his officers should have done more to investigate a prowler call made by Helen Harrion the morning she was killed.

That call, which lasts only 12 seconds, was released to the media by the police department Wednesday.

"Why did they hang up?" asked Twiggy Veal, a friend of the victim. "Why did they not continue to ask her questions about are the windows locked up, are you in bed?"

Hinds County Supervisor Robert Graham agrees.

With 33 years experience as a national verified dispatch trainer, he says the JPD 9-1-1 operator did not follow common protocol.

"On any in progress call where there is a high expectation where an individual might be apprehended or the caller might be in danger, the standard procedure is to keep the individual on the line till the officer arrives," said Graham.

Graham says dispatchers also ask callers vital information during a prowler call in progress, that can help officers once they get on scene. Even if the phone is put down by the caller, anything that happens can be heard by the operator.

"There's a lot of things that can happen," add Graham. "There are a lot of benefits by being able to inform officers as to what transpired from the time that the individual called and the time the officer actually arrives," says Graham.

In Harrion's case the officers arrived, but never made contact with her, then left.

Now questions being asked if things would have turned out differently, had the operator stayed on the line.

Questions about this case are now being referred directly to city hall, and not the police department.

We asked them to comment today, and are still waiting for a response.

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