(BEDFORD) – We’ve all been in traffic somewhere when a police car goes speeding by with lights flashing and sirens blaring. You’ve probably wondered where they were going? But have you ever wondered who sent them zipping down that highway in the first place?
The answer is a dispatcher. The Lawrence County Commissioners praised the local dispatchers during their meeting Tuesday morning.
Governor Eric Holcomb declared the week of April 14 – 20, 2019 as “Public Safety Telecommunicator Week.”
Emergency Management Director Valerie Luchauer says dispatchers are more than just someone who answers the phone.
“The job of a police dispatcher is an often overlooked but no less important role within the field of law enforcement,” says Luchauer. “Dispatchers are often the first point of contact for people in desperate need of help, people who may not even be coherent when they make the call. Dispatchers remain calm and keep their wits about them no matter how bad the situation sounds. They have to make sense of what the caller is dealing with so they can make sure the exact emergency services they need get to them quickly.”
Make no mistake, working as a dispatcher can be incredibly stressful.
Dispatchers are often responsible for doing double duty as 911 operators. They take calls for service then send law enforcement to the scene.
The job of a police dispatcher often includes much more than these services:
- Monitoring and recording the location of on-duty police officers
- Taking both 911 and non-emergency calls for service
- Performing driver’s license and wanted person queries
- Assigning case numbers and recording case notes
- Using computers and computer-aided dispatch
- Monitoring police radio traffic
- Operating police radios
- Dispatching patrol officers to calls for service
- Warrant searches
- Providing assistance to officers by contacting other services as needed
Police dispatchers must be able to multitask and deal effectively with different personality types. They must remain in control of their own emotions so they can help victims remain calm.
You’ve probably heard stories of dispatchers walking people through CPR over the phone, talking calmly to those who have reported gruesome tragedies, and even talking people out of committing suicide. In these and many other circumstances, dispatchers may find themselves as long-distance lifesavers.
Anyone looking to become a dispatcher should have a strong desire to help others, a strong ability to multitask, and a thick skin to be able to remain calm and deal with people who are in their greatest moments of need and distress.
Lawrence County Would like to thank the following dispatchers for their dedication and service.
The Bedford Police Department:
- Jim McCreery
- Stephanie Fitzgerald
- Kelli Spires
- Cassie Ratliff
- Tonya Taylor
- Tamara Duckett
- Landon Jones
- Cayla McIntosh
Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department:
- Mark Jones
- Chad Hayes
- John Keith
- Betty Jo Aldrich
- Ron Haynes
- Robin Compton
- Scott Smith
- Amanda Bitner
- Chad Hillenburg
- Josh Fleetwood
- Hoydon Mugford
- Maressa Bush
In other business:
Lawrence County Veterans Affair officer Brad Bough addressed commissioners with concerns that someone had dripped wax on the Law Enforcement Memorial and on the bricks behind Miss Indiana at the courthouse.
“Dan Bush was able to find someone to remove the wax from the memorial,” Bough added.
The Lawrence County Commissioners approved the lease agreement with Workforce Development. They also approved a contract to make repairs to the building in Dunn Plaza on Mitchell Road. Once repairs are made it will be the new home for Workforce Development. Workforce Development is currently located at Courthouse Plaza.
The commissioners accepted the bids and contract award for the owner-occupied rehabilitation project.
Lawrence County Highway crews have been using hot mix to patch and pave county roads. Bridge crews have been doing spring cleaning of the bridges.
Sheriff Mike Branham reported there were 149 inmates in the jail. Of those 115 were male, 34 females, seven Level 6 felons, two Department of Correction holds and one parole hold.