Across the nation in times of intense personal crisis and community-wide disasters, the first access point for those seeking all classes of emergency services and homeland security information is 9-1-1. The local and county public safety communications centers that receive these calls have emerged as the first and single point of contact for persons seeking immediate relief during an emergency as well as those seeking to report suspicious behaviors, unusual incidents and responding to the now common plea for citizen vigilance and attention in the wake of homeland security concerns nationwide
Every day millions of people depend on the skill, expertise and commitment of public safety telecommunications professionals. 9-1-1 professionals listen to the needs of the nation and help save countless lives by answering to emergency calls, dispatching emergency professionals and equipment and providing moral support to citizens in distress.
The term “9-1-1” is often associated with rapid emergency response, poise under pressure, aid and compassion in times of distress and critical decision-making. Many people don’t stop to think about the seemingly nameless, faceless individuals who answer 9-1-1 calls until they experience actual emergencies themselves.
Each year, the second full week of April is dedicated to the men and women who serve as Public Safety Telecommunicators. The U.S. Congress passed a resolution recognizing the week, which has now become an annual event. And in 1996, President Bill Clinton proclaimed the second week of April as “National Telecommunicator’s Week”.
April 10-16, 2005, we will be honoring the men and women of the Inglewood Police Department who perform telecommunications duties and serve as an indispensable link between our officers, the public, and vital support services. Because they are the first line of contact for many of our residence, they helped create the positive reputation and image our Department enjoys.
But what is most important is that public safety dispatchers receive the recognition they so rightly deserve. I ask that all Inglewood Police Department employees join me in thanking these members of our organization for their valuable contributions.