911 dispatcher defends herself in case of mother who was murdered
DENVER — The police dispatcher who faces disciplinary action as a result of slow police response during a deadly domestic violence incident is defending herself and talking about what she says caused the slow response.
It’s her voice you first year on police radio dispatch report from April 14, the night police say Richard Kirk shot his wife killing her at their southeast Denver home.
“Reporting party versus her husband who was smoking marijuana.”
Kristine Kirk was on the phone with 911 for 14 minutes before she was shot and killed.
The dispatcher, who we are not identifying, but spoke with in the days after the murder, was placed on leave as speculation swirled she was to blame for the police delay in getting to the home that night.
Some employees disagree and blame the 911 software at the communications center.
“I think they`re looking for a scapegoat,” said one person familiar with operations at Denver’s 911 call center.
In an exclusive FOX 31 Denver investigation last week, we exposed 12 complaints filed by dispatchers in the two weeks before the murder saying the software’s red alert icon wasn’t working preventing dispatchers from receiving urgent notes from 911 call takers. Those notes were never broadcast on April 14th showing the situation escalating
“At least a handful of people complaining about the new system,” said one source.
Sources tell us in a meeting Thursday at the communications’ center, the dispatcher asserted that software problem in her defense as to why she never broadcast those notes to police.
The news shifts blame to the center’s director Carl Simpson. As the center’s director, Simpson is responsible for software and fixing problems with it.
“Carl and Ernie are the ultimate deciders on which system we use,” an employee said.
Simpson has 15 days to decide the dispatcher’s fate … But with news that the dispatcher is now returning fire, some say it’s only a matter of days before she’s unemployed.