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Ventura, Calif. — The Ventura Police Department honors the men and women who answer life-saving 911 calls in celebration of National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, happening April 11–17, 2021.
In 2020, Public Safety Dispatchers at the Ventura Police Department answered more than 198,000 calls, including 53,121 emergency 911 calls, with phone calls continuing to increase annually.
“Our community depends on the skill, expertise, and commitment of the men and women who work in public safety communications,” said Ventura Police Chief Darin Schindler. “They remain calm during every emergency, have a unique ability to multi-task under very stressful conditions, and play a key role in response and safety. We are fortunate to have a talented team of dedicated professionals who care deeply about serving the community and our officers.”
The Ventura Police Communications Center is staffed with two corporals, two senior dispatchers, 12 dispatchers, and two dispatcher trainees.
“This year, we recognize Dispatcher Kelly Wilson as our Dispatcher of the Year! Her positive attitude, professionalism and kindness on the phone, skill in dispatching officers, and service as a Communications Training Officer (CTO) exemplify the many skills and values worthy of this special award. She’s truly an asset to our department.”
Public safety dispatchers undergo a rigorous testing and background process before being hired. Once hired, dispatchers attend a Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training Dispatcher Course. Their training then includes 6 to 12 months of on-the-job training. Even then, approximately 50% of the dispatchers hired do not successfully complete the training program due to the unique demands and stressors of the job.
National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week was initially se up in 1981 by Patricia Anderson of the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office in California. Each year, the second full week of April is dedicated to the men and women who serve as public safety telecommunicators.