Dispatchers act quickly to “open” 911 call

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GREAT BEND, Kan. (KSNW) – Police in Great Bend are asking for your help to find a man accused of holding a woman against her will.

They’re also praising dispatchers, who worked to get the woman help.

Dispatchers take calls every day — from accidents, to fires, to criminal cases — but they didn’t know exactly what they’d be responding to, when they had an “open call” last week.

It was after 10 p.m, last Wednesday, when dispatchers took the call but weren’t able to talk to anyone on the line. Dispatchers said they could hear noise in the background but weren’t sure what was going on, so they sent officers to the home to check it out.

Officers responding said a man came to the door and said nothing was wrong and closed the door. However, the officers heard a woman calling for help and forced the door open.

The woman said she had been held by the suspect all day long and secretly called 911 to get help.

Dena Popp, Barton County dispatch director, said she’s appreciative of the dispatcher who acted quick on their feet.

“This was someone really in need of law enforcement assistance, in a situation where she could not talk to us on 911, and because we were able to triangulate her, we were able to help her,” said Popp.

According to the dispatch director, the center receives many “open” 911 calls, from people accidentally dialing 911, but dispatchers are trained to respond to every call.

Police are still looking for the suspect , who they’ve indentified as Bobby Stark. Officers said he has multiple outstanding arrest warrants for probation violations. If you know where he is, call police.