The honor of my professional career is serving the citizens of Levy County, Florida, as their elected sheriff. Every day I wake up with the public safety and wellbeing of my community as my absolute top priority. Our team of dedicated public servants that make up the Levy County Sheriff’s Office are the backbone of keeping our neighborhoods safe and secure.
As we celebrate National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, we honor our public safety dispatchers from across the country who work hard on the job 24/7 to connect the public to their front-line first responders every day— too often with little fanfare and little credit.
Our officers and community first responders are the face of public safety, but our dispatchers are the heartbeat that puts our first responders in the right place, with the right information, to get the job done safely.
The hard work of these dispatchers occurs every day and not just only locally in Levy County. As President of the Florida Sheriffs Association, I see evidence of their work all over our state.
One example is the State Law Enforcement Radio System (SLERS), a critical communications tool that connects first responders all over Florida. More than 350 dispatchers keep the SLERS system running successfully by working with statewide front-line responders and our Florida based corporate partner L3Harris Technologies.
From middle-of-the-night emergencies, to hurricane response, and during unexpected times of crisis, dispatchers are the first voice of help and assistance often heard by the public. They have the expertise, training and dedication needed to make sure our in-person first responders are in the best position to successfully respond to any public safety problem.
A perfect example of this dedication and professionalism is Rebeca Sanchez, a police dispatcher for the Miami-Dade Police Department. Sanchez was presented with the Dispatcher of Year award for 2022 by the Florida Sheriffs Association, sponsored by L3Harris Technologies.
Sanchez is an 18-year veteran of the police force and has received more than 20 letters of commendation for her service to the department. One of her main responsibilities is training and preparing new employees for a career as a dispatcher.
I ask all Floridians to join me this week as we honor our public safety dispatchers. I am proud to call many dispatchers my colleagues and friends. They deserve our thanks and gratitude for the continued level of excellence they provide our communities every day.
Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum began his career at the Levy County Sheriff’s Office in 1969 as a dispatcher and jailer. He was first elected Sheriff in 2013.