The week of April 14-20, 2013, was National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. It is designated as a time when citizens and fellow employees can thank the public safety men and women who dispatch emergency professionals and equipment during times of crisis. This gratitude extends to 9-1-1 calltakers, dispatchers, technicians that maintain radio and emergency phone systems, communications staff trainers, and communications center personnel, who work tirelessly, often behind the scenes, to help those in need during emergencies.
Of the many critical duties involving YCSO's dispatchers, handling Silent Witness calls is at the top of this list. Over the years, their dedication to documenting tips from anonymous callers has been a critical link to solving major crimes in all parts of Yavapai County.
On Thursday, April 18, 2013, Yavapai Silent Witness President, Judy Rojas, Silent Witness board member Rowle Simons (31 years), and Program Director Steve Skurja, presented the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office Dispatch Unit a plaque in recognition of National Communicators Week in appreciation for the unit's involvement in call taking for the Silent Witness program. Sheriff Scott Mascher was also present and spoke to the group as well and talked about the unit's dedicated commitment to YCSO.
Yavapai Silent Witness prides itself on being available 24/7 to the citizens of Yavapai County. In order to do that Silent Witness depends on help from the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office Dispatch Unit. These professionals are working 24 hours a day and make themselves available to take Silent Witness calls on the weekends, after hours and on holidays when the normal call takers are unavailable. Without the help and support of this devoted group of dispatchers Yavapai Silent Witness wouldn't work as well as it does. Director Skurja noted, "The dispatchers do make an important difference and are very valued employees to the Sheriff's Office and Silent Witness program."
YCSO dispatchers are also the first line of contact when callers, in all kinds of crisis situations, need urgent help. Dispatchers play a signficant role in the link to get law enforcement professionals to those in need while providing comfort and direction. The work they do in the background includes digging for details from panicked callers with the intent to provide a safety edge to the very deputies they will be sending into harms way. In many incidents throughout the past, these efforts have saved lives and resulted in the apprehension of dangerous suspects.
Sheriff Mascher is proud to salute all those communication professionals at YCSO in honor of National Telecommunicators Week and is extremely grateful for their service.
Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov
In the photo:
Back row L to R – Captain Brian Hunt, Lauren Bentley, Michelle Lassila, Sally Day Middle Row L to R – Shannon Osborne, Alan Radloff, Ashley Ahlquist, Carolyn Hall-Frueh, Cindy Pierson, Tina Hebert
Front Row L to R – Co. Supervisor Rowle Simmons, Samantha Russell, Denise Harrison, Judy Rojas (Silent Witness President), Courtney Anderson, Steve Skurja (Silent Witness Director)
Dispatchers not pictured include Barbara Phillips, Alicia Rubio-Buchanan, Doug Gerwitz, Amanda Chapman, Karen Applegate, Paul Bartholomew, Glenda Mitchell, and Adam Fairchild