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Kaua‘i Police Department honors its dispatchers

LIHU‘E — Every year, America celebrates the thousands of public safety telecommunications personnel who silently work long hours to answer the call of communities nationwide.

From April 14 through 20, the Kaua‘i Police Department (KPD) and other safety agencies from around the country are honoring the men and women who answer the calls, recognizing public safety telecommunications during National Public Safety Telecommunications Week (NPSTW).

Dispatchers play an indispensable role in enabling first responders to effectively carry out their duties. KPD dispatchers manage calls not only for police, but fire and Emergency Medical Services (EMS), in addition to taking nonemergency calls and monitoring radio communications.

Last year, Emergency Service Dispatchers at KPD received 58,387 calls for service, and in honor the Kaua‘i 911 dispatchers were presented with a proclamation on behalf of Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami.

“Dispatchers provide that critical link between the public and first responders. We recognize and thank each and every one of them for the services they have provided to our community and first responders,” Kaua‘i Emergency Management Agency Administrator Elton Ushio.

Dispatching requires strong multitasking abilities, but a genuine passion for helping others turns this job into a rewarding career. Currently, KPD employs 10 full-time emergency dispatchers, half the staffing that is required to maintain normal operations.

Christina Chong Tim has been a dispatcher for 17 years and was recognized as an Outstanding Employee for 2023.

“People are not calling you on their best day. Their emotions are high and they’re seeking your help,” Chong Tim said. “Knowing that I’m going into work each day and making a difference in someone’s life gives me great pride in what I do.”

The committed men and women voluntarily take on additional hours and sacrifice time off to ensure that emergency assistance is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“Especially this past weekend, they went above and beyond to keep both community members and first responders safe during a time of crisis. Their selfless service has saved countless lives, and though they may remain unknown to most, today and every day, we pay tribute to these heroes with headsets,” said KPD Chief Todd Raybuck.

Anyone interested in making a positive difference in their community can find out more about being a dispatcher by visiting the County of Kaua’i’s employment website at www.kauai.gov/jobs.
Source: The Garden Island

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