In 1981, Patricia Anderson of the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office decided it was time to celebrate and thank police dispatchers. From Anderson’s idea grew National Public Safety Telecommunicators’ Week, a celebration that runs from April 9 to 15 this year.
The festivities began early for many dispatchers who attended the 32nd Annual Alameda County Public Safety Dispatcher Recognition Banquet last Saturday, April 8. While this was a special night for some, other dispatchers stayed behind at their respective agencies and held down the fort.
“The Alameda Police Department would like to extend a special thank you to 18-year veteran dispatcher JoAnn Gonzales who represented the Alameda Police Department at the banquet since 1999,” said APD Lt. Jill Ottaviano. Gonzales has served as the banquet’s committee treasurer for the past four years.
“Our dispatchers are amazing and often work under very stressful situations. They are the first voice the public hears when calling the police,” said Ottaviano. “I could not pretend to do the job and we should take time out not only this week but every day to appreciate how easy they make a very difficult job look.”