Technical glitches between the brains of disparate computer-aided dispatch and radio systems in the Des Moines metro area cause delays from a few seconds to up to 3 minutes.
About 20 minutes passed from the time dispatchers were first notified of numerous shots fired on Des Moines' northwest side on Nov. 2, 2016, and when other first responders around the metro began to learn two police officers had been shot.
Every minute in between mattered.
Not just for 24-year-old officer Justin Martin, whose lifeless body was found shortly after 1 a.m. at the corner of 70th and Aurora in Urbandale. And not just for Sgt. Anthony Beminio, two miles away in Des Moines, who was ambushed soon after by the same shooter.
Everyone who assisted that night risked crossing the path of a cop killer. Communication between assisting agencies was critical.
Des Moines police assured Watchdog that no communication snags delayed first responders on that tragic night. But as much can't be said about other calls.