WATAUGA, Texas – A 911 dispatcher was reprimanded for responding to a mother's plea for help with an unruly child by saying: "OK. Do you want us to come over to shoot her?"
"I admit what I did. It was stupid, it was inexcusable and I'm sorry," said dispatcher Mike Forbess (search).
The woman, identified only as Lori in Wednesday's Fort Worth Star-Telegram, said she recently phoned authorities after coming home to find her daughters fighting. She told the dispatcher that her 12-year-old had kicked a hole in the door.
After Forbess' comment, the woman fell silent for about five seconds.
"Are you there?" Forbess asked.
"Excuse me?" the woman asked.
Forbess, a dispatcher for five years at the Watauga Department of Public Safety (search), told her he was joking and apologized. But the woman was offended, and Forbess immediately told his supervisor what happened.
"This type of response cannot be tolerated, and this letter shall serve as notice that any future unprofessional responses while answering the 911 line will be cause for termination," Police Chief David Van Laar wrote to Forbess.
Watauga is a Fort Worth (search) suburb of about 22,100 residents.