Verizon agrees to upgrade Denver’s 911 call routing system after Ma Kaing’s death

Family members and residents complained to law enforcement that emergency calls route to Aurora instead of Denver, which delayed vital medical treatment to Kaing after she was shot.

Colfax Avenue's intersection with Yosemite Street, the border of Denver and Aurora. Aug. 4, 2022.

Colfax Avenue's intersection with Yosemite Street, the border of Denver and Aurora. Aug. 4, 2022.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

Upgrades are coming to Denver’s 911 call-routing system.

Verizon said it will improve its location-based routing following the death of Ma Kaing in the East Colfax neighborhood, said a spokesperson for the company in an emailed statement. The technology will more accurately route emergency calls to dispatchers based on a caller’s GPS location.

Last month, Kaing was shot and killed outside of the Hidden Brook Apartments on Xenia Street, which are on the border of Denver and Aurora. Kaing, a Burmese refugee, was a beloved member of the community. The shooting remains under investigation.

Following the incident, Kaing’s family members and residents complained to law enforcement that emergency calls route to Aurora instead of Denver, which delayed vital medical treatment for Kaing. Her family members used Verizon phones to call 911.

The wireless carrier initially told the Denver Post that it would not install the new technology because it was not Verizon’s responsibility rather local authorities’.

Verizon plans to make the upgrades nationwide at the start of the first quarter of 2023, the spokesperson said.

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