Chair of Cincinnati Council's Law and Public Safety Committee Christopher Smitherman calls Kyle Plush's death a "tremendous tragedy," and says he's determined to find out why the city failed him.
On Tuesday the committee will question administrators about possible problems with the 911 system and find out why two Cincinnati Police officers left the scene after 11 minutes.
Plush, a 16-year-old Seven Hills student, called 911 two times on April 10 when he became trapped in his minivan in the Seven Hills parking lot. He had kneeled on the third-row seat and reached over to grab his tennis gear when the seat flipped over, pinning him. Despite pleas for help, police couldn't find him and a second 911 operator said she couldn't hear him.
Smitherman will devote a special committee meeting Tuesday to discussing the Plush case and trying to figure out who's at fault. "I don't want to get ahead of the hearing," he says. "I think it would be disrespectful to the administration. We are reviewing lots of correspondence.
"The buck stops someplace," Smitherman continues. "I think I have a feeling of where it stops and I plan to ask the administration some tough questions."
Mayor John Cranley says problems of management, supervision and technology have been reported at the 911 center for years. Last week he said, "I join Vice Mayor Smitherman in asking that the Administration share all memos, reports and relevant emails surrounding the history of the 911/ECC immediately."
Smitherman toured the 911 call center in January and introduced a motion to streamline the technology there. He wants to know where that stands.