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Police dispatchers appreciated  

This week is National Telecommunicators Week, recognizing those unsung heroes and heroines in headsets ensconced in police radio rooms throughout the country 24/7. Better known as police dispatchers, they are usually the public’s first point of contact with police when things go wrong and are the direct link to officers on the streets.

Responsible for answering telephone calls about everything from lost dogs to life threatening emergencies, telecommunicators answer multiple lines, including 911, police, fire and paramedics. In order to communicate immediately, they must memorize literally hundreds of numerical codes and signals for the types of calls that come in, such as “shots fired” or “hit and run” or “trespasser.” They also must be able to recall instantly each officer’s identification number.

“Dispatchers are expected to do five things at once, with no margin for error,” said Key West Police Communications Division Supervisor Denise Latta. “It is a unique and talented person who can do this job and do it well.”

Friday, the Key West Police Department treated their dispatchers to flowers and pizza, to say “thank you” for doing such a stressful and demanding job with such aplomb and professionalism.

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