The Joliet Junior College Police Department is observing April 9-15 as National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. This week of recognition is sponsored by the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO), which honors the thousands of men and women who respond to emergency calls, dispatch emergency professionals and equipment, and render life-saving assistance to the world’s citizens.
JJCPD is fortunate to have a group of dedicated and professional telecommunicators who put the wellbeing of the members of the JJC community first, and I am proud to recognize them and their work during National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.
Police telecommunicators are the often unseen and sometimes underappreciated part of any successful police agency. They are the voice on the phone when you call. They must calm callers who are angry or excited, and comfort those who are in trouble or afraid. They must have answers to questions that would stump most people and they must remain calm and in control of their own emotions when others have lost control of theirs.
They must gather accurate and detailed information to be relayed to responding police officers, because failure to do so could mean the difference between success or failure in the arrest of an offender, safety for the responding officers or even life or death to someone who is injured or in danger. In short, they are the true front line of the department.
In the spotlight feature below, I encourage everyone to take time and get to know your JJC telecommunicators, and if you have the opportunity soon, thank them for the often unseen work they do at JJC.
Chief of Police Pete Comanda
JJC Police Telecommunicators Spotlight
Length of service as a JJC dispatcher: I started in 1992, so, 25 years.
Favorite part of the job? Interacting with students and staff to provide a positive impact in our community and making a difference in the lives of others.
Name: Jeremy Good
Length of service as a JJC dispatcher: About 4.5 years
Favorite part of the job: One of the best things a dispatcher can do is turn chaos into calm. The most rewarding part of my job is knowing that something I’ve done has helped everyone to go home safe at the end of the day.
Name: Emily D’Amico
Length of service as a JJC dispatcher: Almost 1 month
Favorite part of the job: My favorite part of this job is learning about everything JJC is involved with and how diverse the JJC community is!
Name: Melissa Smyth
Length of service as a JJC dispatcher: I have been a dispatcher with the Joliet Jr College Police Department since 07/25/2012.
Favorite part of the job? My favorite part of the job is being able to help keep our officers safe while they are out doing their job every day. I also enjoy assisting our officers by doing background investigations for cases they have. And of course, I enjoy helping people!
Length of service as a JJC dispatcher: I have been a dispatcher since 10/15/15.
Favorite part of the job: Speaking with the public and assisting them with their needs. The help I give is the best part of the job.
Length of Service as a JJC Dispatcher: Four years in June of 2017.
Favorite part of the job: With breaks here and there due to raising a family, I’ve been in this field for 25 years now. I’ve worked in police departments fielding calls for a municipality and everything that is going on within it, as well as in a Communications Center where I’ve answered 9-1-1 calls primarily. So I’ve really heard it all. Even so, in this job, every day is different and no two people are the same. During the time that I was out of this field, I worked in the Plainfield School District and I really enjoyed the educational environment and working with students all the way up through high school. On my return to police dispatching, I was thrilled to be able to combine the two jobs that I enjoyed the most in my life by working in the police department of Joliet Junior College. I get the best of both worlds! I also love this job because it’s given me an opportunity to meet some really amazing people. In the world we live in now, it feels good to be a part of community of people who want to make the world a better and safer place for everyone in it. I’ve met some really awesome and selfless people in the public safety field: police officers, firefighters and EMTs. Ordinary people who every day go out there and do some extraordinary things.