|Back row from left: Captain Brian Hunt, Lauren Bentley, Michelle Lassila, Sally Day. Middle row: Shannon Osborne, Alan Radloff, Ashley Ahlquist, Carolyn Hall‐Frueh, Cindy Pierson, Tina Hebert. Front row: County 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.|
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 who 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, said Sheriff Scott Mascher.
On April 18, Yavapai Silent Witness President Judy Rojas, 31-year Silent Witness
board member Rowle Simmons 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 Mascher also was present and spoke to the group about the unit's commitment to YCSO.
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 calltakers are unavailable. Without the help and support of this devoted group of dispatchers Yavapai Silent Witness wouldn't work as well as it does, said Skurja.
"The dispatchers do make an important difference and are very valued employees to the Sheriff's Office and Silent Witness program," he said.
YCSO dispatchers also are the first line of contact when callers, in all kinds of crisis situations, need help. Dispatchers play a significant 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 safety for the deputies they will be sending. In many past incidents, these efforts have saved lives and resulted in the arrest of dangerous suspects.
Sheriff Mascher said he is proud to salute all those communication professionals at YCSO 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