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Denver 911 dispatch changes procedures after Contact Denver7 investigates bungled call

No one responded to Kali Benson's hit-and-run crash
911 call hit-and-run slow response denver.jpg
Posted at 6:06 PM, Dec 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-22 20:36:43-05

DENVER — Denver's response to Kali Benson's 911 call revealed a series of problems with Denver's Department of Public Safety, from staffing shortages to fire dispatch procedures. Now, fire dispatch is changing its procedures to keep it from happening again.

When Contact Denver7 first reported on the call, the city of Denver apologized and promised the issue was being reviewed.

In November, a hit-and-run driver plowed into Kali Benson's car while she was driving in Denver's RINO neighborhood. She immediately called 911, but police and fire never arrived.

Contact Denver7 obtained documents showing that call-takers sent Denver Fire to the wrong address after confusion on the call. Denver Fire did not see Benson a block away and canceled the call without attempting to contact her, leaving Benson reaching out to Contact Denver7 for help.

"Because I wasn't getting any answers, so it was really nice when Denver7 finally came in, and answers were granted to me," said Benson.

In a Pass Along Report obtained by Contact Denver7, all members of Denver Fire were told to place follow-up calls before closing an incident if they were the sole responding agency.

The report explains,"In the past, we have had support from call-takers and DPD dispatch (where the call originated) but with staffing shortages we need to assist when needed."

In a statement, Andrea Webber, a spokesperson for the Denver Department of Public Safety, stated the department has changed fire dispatch procedure, requiring fire dispatch to reach out to the reporting party.

"We believe that this change and increased communication between our agencies will ensure that incidents like this do not happen in the future," she wrote.

Even though the crash was caught on camera, no arrests have been made in Benson's crash. She is still struggling with her insurance, in part because of the lack of police response, and is waiting for her car to be repaired. But Benson takes some comfort knowing at least someone is being held accountable.

"This is a good start," she said. "As soon as I contacted you guys, there was more of a spotlight on them. More attention came to the situation, and they're like, 'Okay, like, let's figure this out, like what actually happened.'"

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