LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Denise Amber Lee was kidnapped from her Nort Port home, raped and murdered in January 2008. Michael King is on death row for her murder.
Shortly after her death, her husband filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office. Nathan Lee said a witness saw Denise in the car with King and called 911 for help. He said the 911 operator who took the call never dispatched a deputy to the scene.
Since his wife's death, Lee has pushed for 911 reform all over the country. Nathan Lee said, "The state of Florida at the time didn't have a certification for 911 Operators. They had certifications for dog groomers and nail techs, but the 911 system was overlooked."
The State Legislature passed a law in 2008 changing all of that. It was named after Denise. As a result, all 911 operators in Florida must complete a minimum of 232 hours of training and pass a state exam.
In Lee County, the requirements are even tougher. 911 operators must complete a total of 700 training hours.
911 Operator Michael McKelvey said, "Even if it is talking to the same person five times a day you still need to talk to them and take it as an emergency."
"It's really amazing to see the difference she has been able to make," said Lee.
In July of this year, Lee and the Charlotte County Sheriff's office reached a settlement in the Denise Amber Lee wrongful death lawsuit for 1.25 million dollars.
Other states are following Florida's lead. Arkansas, Illinois, and New Hampshire are all in the process of passing new laws that would revamp their 911 training as a result of Denise's murder.