911 call operator on leave in Cincinnati after teen dies in van

Dispatcher placed on leave after Cincinnati teen’s van death to return to work

Police spokesperson Tiffaney Hardy couldn’t say if dispatcher Amber Smith would face any discipline because an internal investigation is continuing, according to our partners at WCPO in Cincinnati.

>> ‘Tell my mom that I love her if I die,’ teen pleads as van seat fatally crushes him

Smith was placed on leave last week because she didn’t pass along the make, model or color of Plush’s minivan to the officers who responded, Police Chief Elliot Isaac said. 

According to documents from an internal review obtained by WCPO, Smith said she couldn’t hear Plush.

>> How did Cincinnati teen become trapped, suffocate in van seat?

Officers don’t  believe there was a failure in the phone system. It’s not clear why Smith couldn’t hear Plush. The 911 operators' computers experienced trouble "around that same time frame," one of the internal documents states. Smith said her screen froze, preventing her from properly documenting the call, according to WCPO.

>> Who was Kyle Plush? Community remembers teen crushed to death by van seat

Isaac ordered an internal investigation into the actions of all department employees involved.

"We intend to do a comprehensive investigation and review of everything that occurred," he said.

>> Cincinnati teen’s tragic death puts spotlight on 911 call responses

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