Tampa 911 dispatcher faces discipline for not helping boy locked in car

Dispatcher tells Shana Dees police can't help unless boy 'in some kind of distress'

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Shana Dees says a Tampa 911 dispatcher wouldn't help her after her 10-month-old son was accidentally locked inside a car.

TAMPA, Fla. - A Tampa 911 dispatcher faces disciplinary action because of his response to a mother who called for help after her 10-month-old son accidentally locked himself in her car while playing with a set of keys.

Shana Dees put her son Jack into his car seat while she moved a cart in a store parking lot Saturday afternoon. The boy hit the lock button.

Dees dialed 911 and says the dispatcher told her police couldn't gain access to the vehicle unless the child was in distress and they'd probably have to smash her window.

"They won't be able to try to gain access to the car unless the child is in some kind of distress," the dispatcher says in the 911 call.

He hung up without getting additional information.

An off-duty officer at the store called 911 again and got help to come. Dees and another bystander eventually broke the window themselves to get Jack out before officers arrived, as his face was turning increasingly red and he was sweating. Temperatures that day were in the 90s. Dees said luckily her child is fine.

Tampa police spokeswoman Laura McElroy says the dispatcher faces disciplinary action and the incident is under investigation.

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