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Milwaukee police dispatcher killed in crash after police chase; suspect still on the run

Posted at 5:31 AM, Mar 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-16 16:58:09-04

Update: MPD gave a press conference on the employee who died after an early morning police chase.

MILWAUKEE -- A Milwaukee police employee is dead after an early morning chase.

It happened just after 12:30 early Monday morning near N. 51st St. and W. Vienna Ave. Police say the suspect ran a red light, and when they tried to pull him over, he took off.

Police stopped the chase after they lost sight of him, but came upon the scene of the crash shortly thereafter. They say the victim is a 62-year-old emergency dispatcher with over 30 years of service.

The suspect ran from the scene.

"Turn yourself in. Do the right thing. Turn yourself in," Jerome Harris, the victim's husband, said. "Suffer for what you did to my family."

Jerome Harris says his wife Debra was just a year away from retirement. He says she had talked about working dispatch during police chases but now, she has become the victim because of one.

"This is my wife right here," Harris said, pointing to a photo of himself, Debra and their daughter from 15 years ago. "You took my wife away. I got an anniversary coming up, 34 years. Turn yourself in and face the consequences. It wasn't right. You took half my life away. Half my life away for your stupidity.

Harris says Debra was a loving wife, passionate civil servant and doting grandmother. He says she was heading to their daughter's home overnight to pick her up for a hair appointment the next morning. However, he got a call from his daughter that she hadn't arrived yet. So he traced the way he believed she would have driven and came upon the crime scene.

"I feel pain all over, man," Harris said. "It's an empty feeling."

Anyone with information is asked to contact Milwaukee Police at 414-935-7360 or Crimestoppers at 414-224-TIPS (8477).

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