Blog Entry May 12, 2016 from Betsy Brantner Smith
Public safety dispatchers are arguably the most over-looked personnel in any law enforcement agency. PG & TI instructor Sgt. Betsy Smith has dubbed them “The Forgotten 1st Responders” (http://www.policeone.com/police-jobs-and-careers/articles/2054149-the-forgotten-first-responders) and conducts training classes and workshops throughout the United States especially for dispatch personnel.
Sgt. Smith recent traveled to Salt Lake City, UT to present “Career and Officer Survival for Dispatchers” at the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Department in Utah. The course was hosted by the Unified Police Department of Greater Salt Lake. Unified PD’s dispatch manager and training coordinator were in attendance and outlined some of their many innovations to Sgt. Smith. UPD utilizes ride-a-longs, a cadet program, a peer support group and leadership training to enhance working conditions for their dispatchers.
Sgt. Smith was also honored to meet the widow of Unified Police officer Doug Barney who was killed in the line of duty on January 17th of this year. (https://www.odmp.org/officer/22733-police-officer-douglas-scott-barney-ii) Erika Barney, a former dispatcher, now works in HR at UPD and has been an incredible source of strength to her co-workers since Doug’s murder.
Attendees spent the morning learning various officer safety tools and tactics, and the afternoon was devoted to leadership, gender intelligence, and career enhancement.