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Lawmakers anticipate conclusive findings next week in Kyle Plush case

WLWT Cincinnati logo WLWT Cincinnati 5/11/2018
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Cincinnati lawmakers anticipate conclusive findings Monday morning in the death of teenager Kyle Plush.

The Seven Hills student died tragically on April 10 after two 911 calls and a search that failed to find the trapped boy in time.

Monday's account of the emergency response to those calls is expected to be riveting.

Police Chief Eliot Isaac, his investigators and technical staff will present their findings to the City Council's Law and Public Safety Committee.

Vice Mayor Chris Smitherman will preside.

The session is likely to take the entire morning. It will be devoted to a full presentation by the chief and his command staff.

No one from the public will be permitted to speak. According to Smitherman, the only exception would be if someone from the family of the boy wanted to say something.

The police investigation elements are varied and encompass everything from how the first call was coded to the discovery of the teen's body hours later.

The dispatcher who took the second 911 call has reportedly said she could not hear him.

According to documents, she also contended the computer screen froze.

The police investigation is expected to shed further light on those two points.

During an April 17 special session, TriTech Software Systems offered its analysis of them.

Smitherman read the main conclusions.

"Our analysis of the activity concludes the CAD did not crash and was operational throughout the event," he recited. "One of the work stations running CAD in the backup center was restarted prior to the 911 call. This work station was operational at the time of the call and logs show there was normal operator activity before, during and after the call. The CAD does not control or interact with the 911 calls and could not affect the quality of the voice in the head set."

The discrepancies from that second call will be a key part of the investigative findings.

The first call from Kyle Plush came at 3:16 p.m. The second one came around 3:35.

The investigation is expected to show and clarify how long the two responding officers were at Seven Hills.

It is also expected to reveal whether the school was ever contacted about the search and what the protocol is for notifying a property owner about a 911 run.

"In your professional opinion, Chief, was human error a cause of what happened here?", asked Councilman Jeff Pastor last month.

"That's what we're trying to determine," responded Isaac. "Clearly something has gone wrong."

Documents attached to Monday's agenda suggest problems with the 911 system go back years.

In a letter to Mayor John Cranley last month, former Lt. Col. Dave Bailey wrote:

"For whatever reason, we have acquired personnel who are simply not motivated or are unable to do this type of work and just outright resign early in their career. Others remain employed, but turn in marginal performance and attendance."

Former City Manager Harry Black sent numerous memos to the mayor and City Council about the city's emergency communications system.

The mayor's office contends that only two mentioned staffing problems and that the administration was handling the technology issues as funding was provided.

Going forward, Councilman Greg Landsman tells us he is impressed with the progress Acting City Manager Patrick Duhaney has made at the call center.

According to Landsman, he has restructured management, integrated bargaining units, instituted new performance measures across the board and improved technology.

"The amount of work that has gone into fixing the call center issues is giving me enormous hope that we're going to get this done,” stated Landsman.

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