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LASD - Los Angeles County Sheriffs Dept Information Bureau (SIB)
Thursday April 12th, 2018 :: 07:00 p.m. PDT


LASD’s “Invisible” Support Team Receives Recognition with Dispatcher of the Year Award

Since 1991, Congress passed a formal proclamation to annually honor public safety dispatchers in the month of April as “National Telecommunicators Week.”  During this week, telecommunicators throughout the nation are recognized for their outstanding efforts and devotion to the communities they serve.
Many times public safety telecommunicators are the first line of assistance when the community calls into their dispatch.  Although they are rarely seen and heard by the public, dispatchers are the behind-the-scenes link between those in need and those who can help.  They are the voice of calmness and composure, keeping the airwaves organized during even the most dynamic of events.  As a result, we celebrate and honor our dispatchers one week each year by recognizing their contributions to helping keep our country, personnel and public safe.  The Sheriff’s Communication Center dispatchers and law enforcement technicians assigned to special desk operations consistently demonstrate a high-level of performance and devotion to their telecommunicator duties.
Dispatchers handle almost 5,000 deputy emergencies a year, averaging 14 times per day they coordinate events such as assistance requests, pursuits, containments, deputy-involved fights, and even deputy-involved shootings 14 per day.  They perform fluidly during intense, dynamic events, and even offer a little humor during the less-stressful moments.  For deputies working out in the field, the dispatchers’ voices and personalities become familiar over the years, and even though they will likely never meet, the dispatchers seems like longtime friends.
The Department’s tradition of recognizing one Public Safety Dispatcher each year started in 1986, but this year’s award was just a little bit different than in years past, and twice as nice:  It was doubled to recognize one dispatcher from each of the two shifts.  On Thursday, April 14, 2018, in celebration of this event, Sheriff Jim McDonnell recognized the dedicated service of Public Safety Dispatchers and presented this year’s Public Response Dispatcher of the Year awards to:

Samantha “Sam” Belanger, dayshift dispatcher
Nicole Simons, early morning dispatcher
Samantha Belanger was hired as a Public Radio Dispatcher by the Department in November, 2009 and is currently assigned to dayshift.  She passionate about sharing her knowledge with others and took the position as a training officer to help craft more conscientious dispatchers.  Samantha has mentored several new dispatchers since 2011 and helped four of them complete the demanding training process.
Nicole Simons was hired as a Public Radio Dispatcher by the Department in June, 2006 and is currently assigned to early morning shift.  As a tenured dispatcher, she also guides new dispatchers and trained several since 2008, with three of them completing the training process.
During the ceremony, Captain Eli Vera praised the calmness and stability these dispatchers provide in the midst of chaos, and offered some insight into the specialness of being a police dispatcher, “For a moment, I want you to think of what it must feel like for the dispatcher on the other end of the mic who will likely be called upon to deal with an emergency.  It truly takes a gifted individual to do their job.”
If you are interested in becoming a Public Radio Dispatcher or wish to share your skills of another class, have we got a career for you!  Check out the variety of sworn and professional positions available at  
Prepared by:
Deputy Lillian Peck
Sheriff’s Information Bureau
211 West Temple Street,
Los Angeles, CA  90012

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Jim McDonnell, Sheriff
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department



LASD - Los Angeles County Sheriffs Dept Information Bureau (SIB)
211 E Temple St
Los Angeles, CA 90012

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