NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — On the night of a fatal fire that claimed the lives of three children in New Orleans East, Tuesday, Oct. 18, the 911 call timeline shows it took twenty-five minutes between the time the first call for help came in and the time the police arrived on the scene.

The Orleans Parish Communications Center and the NOPD have each opened investigations into why police were not dispatched sooner, and why they did not arrive sooner.

Timeline of the 911 call:

  • The first call from the mother of the children came in at 11:54 p.m.
  • Incident report created at 11:55 p.m.
  • Incident broadcast on police radios at 11:59 p.m.
  • Neighbor calls to report the house is on fire at 12:08 a.m.
  • NOPD unit rolls out at 12:15 a.m.
  • Fire Department on scene at 12:09 a.m.
  • EMS rolls at 12:18 a.m.
  • Police on scene at 12:20 a.m.
  • EMS on the scene at 12:29 a.m.

NOPD Superintendent Anne Kirkpatrick says the NOPD’s Public Integrity Bureau has opened a detailed investigation into the department’s response time.

Former NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas, who was chief from 2010 to 2014, says the PIB investigation is important.

“It triggers powers and authorities of supervisors to ask questions of subordinate personnel,” said Serpas.

“Kirpatrick can get whether or not someone under these conditions dropped the ball and did not get the police on the scene soon enough.”

As far as repercussions, Serpas said, “there are no excuses, but it’s too soon to say what will be discovered after the investigations’ results.”

“If all the police cars were tied up because of short staffing issues that have been plaguing New Orleans, there may not be a clear culpability,” Serpas said.

“Or if there were people free, and the supervisors were not engaging enough, or managing the resources, that’s a different outcome.”

As Kirkpatrick focuses on all aspects of the department’s response, Serpas says two things will come into play.

“She is going to have to manage that response, but the citizens are the ones who suffer from slow responses if the police department is not staffed properly or managed properly,” he said.

Kirkpatrick has said she won’t make any comments on the investigation while it is underway.

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