On Wednesday morning, Lewisville 911 dispatcher Patrick Burks did not make it to work at his normal 6:30 a.m. start time. As per standard policy, when a phone call was unable to get him, police were sent to his apartment at Cambridge Village in the 1400 block of N. Valley Parkway to check on him.
After not being able to get a response, maintenance was called, and officers made entry into his apartment. At 6:56 a.m., an officer on the scene radioed dispatch that they had found him deceased. He asked the dispatcher to send a medic supervisor. Radio recordings indicate a professional but emotional response from a shaken coworker of Burks.
Burks was 38 years old. His body was taken to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s office for autopsy.
Police Chief Russell Kerbow said that Burks had a medical condition. No information has been made public on a cause of death.
Matt Lamunion, a fellow dispatcher in the department had been scheduled to go in at 8:30 that morning. He told The Lewisville Texan Journal that he was notified at about 7 a.m. They told him he could take the day off. “When everyone was first reacting, some of the firemen and police officers stepped up and helped with answering phones and things like that,” he said.
On his Twitter page, Burks described himself as a “reader, introvert, nerd, perfectionist, misanthrope & Addisonian.” He worked for the City of Lewisville for just over 12 years, and was a communications officer with the University of North Texas police department before that. He held a bachelors of science degree in criminal justice from the University of North Texas.
Lamunion said that he was very close to Burks. “Everyone was friends with Patrick, but he was like my best friend at work,” said Lamunion. Burks had trained Lamunion on call-taking 7 years ago. Lamunion credits Burks with inspiring him to continue his education.
“He was just a great guy, you know everyone could just go to him with whatever questions they had, and if he didn’t know the answer, he knew how to find the answer for you.”
Lamunion said that Burks was very concerned about people. “The passion to serve was in his heart,” said Lamunion. “He was definitely a true public servant.”
Funeral arrangements are listed as pending. Coker Funeral Home in Sanger is handling the arrangements.
The Tarrant County Medical examiner ruled that Burks died of natural causes. He had Addison’s Disease.