The Cleveland dispatcher who sent police to Cudell Commons on Nov. 22 to respond to “a male threatening with a gun” has no serious discipline during her four years in Cleveland, her personnel file showed. Those officers fatally shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice, who was carrying an airsoft-type gun with the orange tip removed. (Cory Shaffer, Northeast Ohio Media Group)
CLEVELAND, Ohio — The police dispatcher who sent Cleveland officers to Cudell Commons on Nov. 22, when Tamir Rice was fatally shot, was fired from her first police dispatcher job in September 2008, the same month she was arrested and charged with bringing a gun to a bar.
Beth Mandl, then 26 years old, was hired as a dispatcher at Case Western Reserve University’s police department in March of 2005, according to her personnel file released Wednesday by Cleveland City Hall.
Mandl said on her application that her employment there ended in September of 2008, when she was terminated. A university spokesman said the school, a private entity, does not discuss personnel matters.
The termination came the same month of Mandl’s Sept. 29, 2008 arrest on a concealed carry violation. She was charged with bringing a gun into a liquor establishment, according to court records.
Her case was bound over to a Cuyahoga County grand jury, according to court records, but the county has no record of the case. A Cleveland Municipal Court spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Mandl worked at a Tremont restaurant until December 2010, when she was hired in Cleveland. Then 31, she finished 25th in her class on the civil service exam with an 88.5 percent score.
It’s unclear if the department knew about the arrest. Mandl checked “no” when asked if she had ever been convicted of a felony or a crime specifically related to the duties of a police dispatcher.
Mandl received high marks in performance reviews. In 2013, a supervisor said she was well-liked by her coworkers and was always willing to help the department. Another supervisor in October said Mandl showed “potential to become an ‘outstanding’ dispatcher.”
Mandl’s only discipline was in 2013, when she used too many sick and vacation days over a three-month period. She received a written warning.
The city Wednesday also released the policy for answering 9-1-1 calls, which says dispatchers should “relay all information included in an incident” to police officers responding to a call.
The handling of dispatching came under fire after Tamir’s death.
When a person calls 9-1-1, the call-taker relays the information electronically to a dispatcher, who then relays the information to police, according to a police spokeswoman.
Constance Hollinger took the initial 9-1-1 call from a man outside the Cudell Recreation Center who said that someone was pointing a gun that was “probably fake” at people.
The details of what Hollinger relayed to Mandl are not clear. At no point were the officers told that the gun was “probably fake” or that Tamir was a boy and not an adult.
Northeast Ohio Media Group has requested any communication between Hollinger and Mandl.
Tamir’s shooting exposed what many have said are inadequate hiring practices of Cleveland police. Timothy Loehmann, the officer who shot the boy at close range less than two seconds after he jumped from a police car, was on his way to being fired at Independence Police Department when he resigned in 2012, according to his personnel file.
Cleveland police did not examine Loehmann’s file before they hired him. They’ve since updated their policy to check all personnel files of potential recruits.
Loehmann unsuccessfully applied to several Northeast Ohio law enforcement agencies before Cleveland hired him in 2014, including the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department. That agency is now leading the investigation into the shooting, and will hand over its evidence to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, which will take the case to a grand jury.
Loehmann’s partner, Frank Garmback, was sued in federal court in an excessive force case that cost the city $100,000. Garmback and his partner at the time were accused of beating up a 39-year-old woman on Clifton Boulevard.