The Consolidated Dispatch Agency is agreeing to pay $950,000 to the estate of a slain sheriff’s officer. The family of Deputy Chris Smith sued the CDA and local governments after he was ambushed and killed in the line of duty in 2014.
The agency fields 911 calls and relays information to first responders, including critical officer safety alerts. In November 2014, dispatchers failed to communicate previous threats made by an armed gunman, who set fire to his home to bait first responders. Deputy Smith responded to the house fire without being notified of the gunman's intentions, and was killed immediately.
After implementing technological updates and personnel changes, and approving the settlement, CDA director Dee Crumpler hopes the agency can move forward.
“We’re doing everything we can from a technology standpoint and from a training standpoint to ensure this never happens again,” Crumpler said.
The overall settlement totals $1.3 million dollars, $950,000 of which will be paid by the CDA’s insurance policy. City and county commissioners will vote on the remaining $400,000 figure later this month. If commissioners approve the deal, the city and county budgets will each allocate $200,000.