When they’re under pressure, these special individuals epitomize the phrase “calm, cool and collected.” They are your first line of communication with Police. And their role cannot be understated.
Police dispatchers are responsible for taking all calls for service, including 911 calls. They also have a number of additional duties, including:
– Monitor, track and dispatch officers
– Query persons relating to officer requests
– Take reports over the phone
– Operate and monitor radios
– Assist with contacting other agencies if needed
In other words, they’re some of the best multi-taskers around.
And on Wednesday, April 10, during National Telecommunications Week, one of our very own won the Sask911 Telecommunicator of the Year Award.
Special Constable Jackie Thaller, a 25-year veteran with the SPS, was one of three nominees for the province. Nominated by Communications Sergeant Ryan Smith and her peers for her enthusiasm, determination, knowledge and professionalism, S/Cst Thaller beat out the competition when the selection committee awarded her with the top honour.
“Jackie has a reputation of exceptional knowledge and professionalism. She is extremely proud of our professionalism and strives to be the best telecommunicator possible. She will never back down from a challenge and is always there to help anyone with anything,” says Sgt. Smith.
One of the criteria for the award was based on her demonstration of courage, foresight, alertness and skill in her job. One example of Jackie’s outstanding instincts was when she took an unknown 911 hang-up. As per policy, Jackie called the number back, which belonged to a pharmacy. A woman answered and said everything was okay. It was just a mistake but called Jackie “sir”. Finding this odd, she again asked if everything was okay. The woman said yes, everything was fine. Unable to shake the feeling of uneasiness, Jackie dispatched a unit to the location anyway and advised them she thought there might be more to it. When officers arrived, they discovered a male, armed with a firearm, robbing the pharmacy. The male had been listening to the 911 call while holding a gun to the female staff member’s head while Jackie was speaking with her.
Our CAD systems have been upgraded four times since Jackie has been with the SPS and in each of those upgrades, Jackie worked closely with the company, spending an incredible number of hours making sure the new system fit the SPS and its needs. Her commitment to train her peers and ensure the new system was a benefit to the entire SPS organization, is a testament to her dedication and commitment to her profession.
Congratulations, Jackie, on your accomplishment! You’ve earned it!