Handling of Montgomery indecent exposure incident under review

Published: Jan. 26, 2017 at 6:25 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 27, 2017 at 4:38 AM CST
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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Montgomery Department of Public Safety officials say they are reviewing the way an incident in East Montgomery was handled over the weekend.

According to Montgomery Public Safety Director Chris Murphy, a woman called 911 Saturday to report an incident of indecent exposure outside the Target in the EastChase area.

The victim provided information about the incident to the dispatcher, but officers weren't dispatched to the scene.

When the victim returned home, she called 911 again and asked to speak to an officer. Police were dispatched to her residence and the victim spoke with an officer, but a formal report of the incident wasn't immediately made.

A formal report has since been made, and an investigation has started, Murphy said.

Murphy says investigators are actively looking into this crime and believe they will be able to identify the suspect and make an arrest. At the same time, the Department of Public Safety is reviewing the response.

The public safety director said there was a lack of "compassion" and "urgency" when handling this incident.

"I can assure you we are taking corrective actions, including disciplinary actions where warranted," Murphy said.

Murphy wouldn't go into detail about the disciplinary actions or who was being disciplined. He urges residents who feel they are in a situation where they need assistance to call 911 and get an officer to respond to the scene and to have the incident reported.

"The victim did the right thing," Murphy said. "She has a traumatic incident, and she called 911 and we went through the protocol, but we didn't do it well. Had that been handled differently, it would have been better for the victim. It would have been less traumatic for the victim."

Target issued a response Thursday afternoon, stating:

"At Target, our guests are at the center of everything we do and their safety is our top priority. Our commitment to creating a safe and secure shopping environment in our stores is unwavering. As part of this commitment to safety, we have robust procedures, policies and trainings in place to ensure that our stores are safe places to shop and work. 
We are partnering with closely with law enforcement on this matter. As this this is an ongoing investigation, we are unable to share additional details. Please contact law enforcement with any further questions" 


No other details of the case have been released at this time. Following Murphy's press conference, Montgomery officials said they have received additional indecent exposure reports similar to this incident.

Here's the Facebook post from the Target parking lot victim:

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