FOP President: Dispatch system may have crashed before Plush 911 call

Published: Apr. 15, 2018 at 2:05 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 16, 2018 at 6:46 AM EDT
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Sgt. Dan Hils (FOX19 NOW)
Sgt. Dan Hils (FOX19 NOW)

MADISONVILLE, OH (FOX19) - A dispatching system may have malfunctioned just before Kyle Plush dialed 9-1-1, the police union leader said.

"Its one of those times at the police department you can feel a difference in the mood, people are personally affected by this tragedy," said Sgt. Daniel Hils, president of FOP Lodge 69.

The entire community and police department are impacted by the sophomore's death.

Hils said he is hoping to get some answers soon.

"The officers did not receive the information necessary to get them to find this young man. So, yes, something went terribly wrong," Hils said in an interview Saturday.

Kyle called 911 twice after becoming pinned inside his family's minivan in the parking lot of Seven Hills School Tuesday afternoon.

It took about five hours for officers to find him and when they did, it was too late.

Plush already had suffocated to death by the weight of the third row folding seat, according to the Hamilton County coroner.

Now, three investigations are underway to try to determine what went wrong.

"Only the investigation will reveal if it was the people or the hardware or a combination of both. We just don't know yet," said Hils.

Hils said the computer aided dispatch or "CAD" system may have malfunctioned just before Plush called for help.

"This is not something that I think is terribly unusual I mean electronic systems break down, they have to reboot, and they have to do different things," he said.

Mayor, other elected officials call for review of troubled 911 center after student's death

What happens when something like that fails?

According to Hils, dispatchers will relay messages by written by hand.

"They do it how they did it in the old days, write it down on an index card and the card is handed to someone somehow sending the person dispatching on that channel."

Amber Smith, the 911 operator who took Plush's second and most detailed call, told her supervisors she couldn't hear Kyle's call, a police report shows.

Her supervisors ranked her handling of the call a 60 percent out of 100 percent, a level that is "unacceptable."

She was placed on paid administrative leave after the incident and is scheduled to return to work on Wednesday.

The teen's funeral is scheduled for Monday.

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