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Duncan Dispatcher Takes Heat

DUNCAN, Okla._The 911 dispatcher who took the call of Chris Lane's murder has been the target of insults and threats since the recording of it was made public.

People began speaking out on social media about the dispatcher and her reaction time. Then today, an Oklahoma City news station publicized the woman's name. So, now people are threatening her in person and demanding that she be fired or sued because she didn't get first responders to the scene quicker.

Sergeant Patrick Norton tells me there was nothing the dispatcher could have done to get first responders there quicker. He said from the time the call came in until the first responders arrived was 7 minutes. He was actually in the call center when the 911 call came in. He told me the dispatcher followed proper protocol from the start. And he said that too many times the public forgets all of the outside interferences that delay first responders in the process of getting to the scene.

"911, where's your emergency? I am up here on Plato Road and in-between these two fields and there is a young man. He just fell over in the ditch, and he has blood on him."

It's the dispatcher's response to that call last Friday that has generated so much anger. People are saying her slow reaction time led to Lane's death. However, the Commander of Duncan's 911 Call Center Sergeant Patrick Norton said that is not the case.

"She paged out Station 3 that is on Highway 81 and Spruce. Then after she paged out the fire department, then she paged out the police department," said Norton.

He said people have forgotten what it takes to get first responders to the scene.

"They had 2 miles of the highway to go down. And we have to realize as they're going down the highway the public doesn't always yield the right away," said Norton.

That is on top of the fact that their speed is regulated. And the fire truck had to go through 3 busy intersections before making it to the scene.

"If he were able to go 60 miles per hour for the whole trip, it would take him about 3 minutes to go straight through. So when we think about the time frame of 7 minutes, it is within the time frame of him getting there in a reasonable time. The don't have a straight shot and they have to allow for the traffic," said Norton.

And the dispatcher actually saved first responders some time by catching a mistake in the location initially given. It included 2 roads that did not intersect.

"We were able to save a few seconds because they realized it was just north of the location we were given," said Norton.

Norton said TV and movies give the public the wrong impression of how a dispatch center works.

"Everyone thinks that our equipment should work like it does on TV. And when you put in the people aspect of it, things do not always work perfectly," said Norton.

Norton stands behind his dispatcher. He said that she kept her emotions under control and maintained composure during a very difficult call.

"If people knew her, they would know she did not treat this as just another call. She took this as serious as anyone else did. And she did her job well," said Norton.

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