The role of a police dispatcher is never more critical than when an officer has been shot. Dispatcher Keith Thorton Jr. rose to the occasion when it was needed most. Listen to the entire radio call.


On August 7, 2021 Chicago Police Officers Ella French and Joshua Blas were shot during a car stop. Tragically Officer Ella French would pass away from he injuries. Officer Joshua Blas would be critically injured. 

In the chaos that followed the shooting one voice came across as composed, professional and caring. That of Chicago police dispatcher Keith Thorton Jr. Taking control the radio traffic he was able to get officers to the scene and secure it allowing for the suspects to be caught. He gave clear concise directions on getting the officers to a trauma unit and helped provide directions as they administered aid. 

Even when impacted by the emotion of the moment and tearing up he managed to still work the radio and do what needed to be done. 

His work was exemplary and he was deserving of the accolades received from many in the community but especially from those who work in law enforcement and understand the unique relationship dispatchers and officers have. 

Dispatcher Thorton knew the neighborhood having been raised there. He was aware of medical response having been a volunteer fighter and EMT. He also knew which hospital would be the best prepared to handle a shooting victim.

Take the time to listen the entire dispatch recording and imagine what it was like on that night for everyone involved.