Valley 911 dispatchers get guidance on handling abortion calls

Dispatchers were told not to send patrol cars, according to a document obtained by 12News. City Council can vote in October. 11 on “de-prioritizing” police enforcement.

PHOENIX — The Phoenix Police Department is now telling 911 dispatchers how to handle callers reporting illegal abortions.

Instructions: Do not send patrol cars. Pass the report to a higher-level official.

This comes ten days after a Pima County judge allowed a near-total abortion ban to go into effect in Arizona.

RELATED: Arizona Judge: State Can Implement Nearly Complete Abortion Ban

But new guidance from dispatchers and Phoenix police may be in the works.

The Phoenix Council is expected to discuss and possibly vote at its October meeting. 11 Resolution on deprioritizing enforcement of the state’s abortion law.

A vote in favor of the resolution could spark a confrontation with Republicans in the legislature.

“Violation of Medical Practice”

12News obtained police department instructions emailed to dispatchers last Thursday.

  • The guide clarifies how to handle calls about “violations of medical practice” – suspected abortions.
  • Dispatchers should record basic information.
  • Patrol officers will not be dispatched for suspected violations.
  • A lieutenant and sergeant will be notified, and an investigator will be assigned.

No abortion-related calls were made to 911, according to the city manager’s office.

According to the city manager’s office, such orders are usually issued when the criminal law is in effect. Dispatchers get new codes for guidelines and violations.

Congresswoman: Don’t use city resources

Phoenix Congresswoman Yassamin Ansari understands why dispatchers need a plan. But she was among council members, including Mayor Kate Gallego, leading the push to change it.

“It’s important for the city department to respond. If we do start getting these calls, they’ll have a plan,” said Ansari, who represents District 7.

But she added: “I don’t think city resources should be used to criminalize abortion.”

Herold: Patrol should respond

Arizona’s leading abortion opponent, Cathi Herrod of the Arizona Policy Center, said 911 calls to suspected abortions should be treated like any other crime.

“I questioned why patrols weren’t sent in,” she said.

“There should be an immediate investigation or the crime will continue.”

October resolution. 11 meetings

The resolution is expected at the October 11 Council Policy Meeting. An affirmative vote by the nine-member council would put the resolution into effect.

Gallego, Ansari and other city council members are working on a resolution that would put abortion calls at the bottom of police priority lists.

“As far as calls that try to convict doctors or people seeking abortions are concerned, those calls will be de-prioritized,” Ansari said.

The resolution is expected at the October 11 Council Policy Meeting. An affirmative vote by the nine-member council would put the resolution into effect.

The Tucson City Council shut down abortion enforcement in early June.

After the final U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Roe vs. Wade was leaked, the committee barred Tucson police from arresting anyone on suspicion of illegal abortion.

Republicans can target cities

Both Tucson and Phoenix could be targets for Republicans in the state House.

“If any government entity refuses to comply with abortion laws,” Herold said, “I think that’s going to be an issue for lawmakers to address when they meet.”

Republicans have used the so-called “SB1487 investigation” as a weapon against government agencies they believe are violating state law.

The law requires the attorney general to investigate the legality of any action taken by a county, city or town at the request of state legislators anywhere in the state.

Government agencies could lose state aid if they don’t comply with the AG’s findings.

Midterm elections could decide whether Phoenix and Tucson face challenges.

The attorney general’s office will have a new occupant within three months, Democrat Chris Mays or Republican Abe Hamed.

In public remarks, Meyers was pessimistic about the 1,487 challenges. She also vowed to file a legal challenge to Arizona’s Civil War-era abortion ban.

Hamed pledged to uphold abortion laws.

Incumbent AG Republican Mark Brnovich has served up to two four-year terms.


Get the latest news and stories on the 12News YouTube channel. Subscribe today.

Source link