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National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week (April 10-16) Honors Team Behind The Scene

Date of News Release: 04/11/2016

(Columbia, KY.) - Telecommunicators at Kentucky State Police Post 15 in Columbia will be recognized along with more than 200,000 of their fellow communicators nationwide April 10-16 during National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.

These silent heroes of public safety are more than just a voice on the other end of the line. They often save lives on a daily basis.

"Kentucky State Police telecommunicators deal with stressful situations that involve life and death and are expected to handle these situations with compassion, empathy and professionalism. They must be their best while dealing with people who may be at their worst," says Capt. Jamie Heller, commander of KSP Post 15 in Columbia. "People don't usually call them for help when they are having a good day. They deal with people who have been victimized or need medical assistance. The callers may be threatening and belligerent, or in some cases, not able to communicate at all, other than dialing 911 with their last bit of strength, in an attempt to get help."

In addition to handling calls from the public, KSP telecommunicators also handle dispatch duties for Kentucky State Troopers, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Officers, Kentucky Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Conservation Officers and other emergency service agencies. Their duties include dealing with highly emotional callers and interacting with other law enforcement and emergency service agencies, calling wrecker services, notifying channels of administration, running license plate and drivers license numbers, running criminal histories and notifying family members while continuing to answer new calls and handling other radio traffic.

"They act as a lifeline for officers in the field," says Capt. Heller. "We couldn't do our jobs without them. We depend on their skill and dedication every day so it is fitting that we take this time to recognize their value to the Kentucky State Police and to the citizens of the Commonwealth."

KSP employs 213 telecommunicators at its 16 posts throughout the state. In 2015, they handled 577,468 calls. Post 15 in Columbia has 8 telecommunicators on staff who handle calls from an 11-county area. Last year, they responded to 18,728 calls.

The Post 15 telecommunications team includes: Tammy Wheeler, Darron Bunch, Stacy Estes, Heather Reliford and Zack Giles, of Columbia, Randy Adams, of Somerset, Miranda Luttrell, of Russell Springs and Julie McDonald, of Liberty.

To watch a short video about KSP telecommunicators, click on or visit the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzGOaQDdXfw&feature=youtu.be or visit www.kentuckystatepolice.org

For more information or to apply for a telecommunication position with KSP, log on to the state personnel website at www.personnel.ky.gov

The Kentucky State Police (KSP) is a law enforcement agency that prides itself on attracting the best individuals. KSP affords equal employment opportunity to all individuals, regardless of race, creed, color, religion, gender or age. For a copy of the KSP Equal Employment Opportunity Plan, follow this link: http://www.kentuckystatepolice.org/pdf/EEOP_Short_Form.pdf