CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - From the City of Kannapolis: The City of Kannapolis Police and Fire Departments want to take the opportunity to honor and recognize the dedicated Telecommunicators who handle thousands of emergencies each year within the City of Kannapolis and surrounding areas and express our deep appreciation for their efforts.
These dedicated individuals dispatch Kannapolis police officers, fire suppression units, medical units, and coordinate with surrounding agencies for other law enforcement, fire services and emergency medical services.
In 1991 the United States Congress proclaimed the second week of April as a national week of recognition to honor the men and women who serve as public safety communicators. “We don’t express to our telecommunicators how grateful we all are for the wonderful job that they do”, said Police Chief Woody Chavis. “We fail to say ‘thank you’ enough for their hard work and dedication. They are a very important part of our profession and our department. Their ability to do their job can mean the difference between life and death for citizens as well as police officers. They are the lifeline that so many people overlook until it is time to grab hold. If a serious call comes into our center and everything goes as planned, they were just doing their job. If it turns out bad, the story makes the headlines, and everyone judges the actions of the telecommunicator. I for one know how important and stressful their job can be. I admire them for being able to do multiple things at once and do them all well. We could not have an efficient operation without them. They actively assist in saving lives on a regular basis. We want to take time this week to honor these dedicated employees”.
In 2018, the telecommunicators of the Kannapolis Police Department maintained an outstanding record answering 98% of the 9-1-1 emergency calls within an average of 4 seconds or less. They dispatched 63,376 calls for service and answered 14,697 9-1-1 calls and 77,110 non-emergency calls for a total of 91,807 telephone calls.
In addition to answering telephone calls telecommunicators are also responsible for CAD to CAD transfers from Cabarrus, Concord and Rowan Communication centers. In 2018, Telecommunicators handled 6,923 C2C transfers from Cabarrus, 1,316 from Concord, 1,105 from Rowan and transferred 3,406 C2C transfers to those centers for a total of 12,810 transfers between four agencies. Telecommunicators are also responsible for entering all items with identifiable markings, wanted persons and missing persons into the National Crime Information Center’s database.
Telecommunicators are trained to respond to a wide variety of emergencies that may arise each day. They must be able to retrieve information from callers while reassuring the caller and sending emergency services units to assist them; often during periods of extreme stress and heavy call volume. They must be able to handle multiple tasks at the same time, such as taking information over the telephone, dispatching units over the radio, and receiving computer messages at the same time. They dispatch for police and fire emergency services and are often engaged with both emergency services at the same time for the same incident.
For over 26 years, public safety agencies nationwide have recognized the pivotal role played by telecommunications personnel who utilize telephones, radios, computers and technical skill to provide support to Law Enforcement, Fire Service, and Emergency Medical Services during National Telecommunicator Week in April.
The following is a list of our dedicated Telecommunicators who man the Kannapolis 911 Center:
Heather Clay Shift Supervisor 12 years
Johnny Caudle Shift Supervisor 15 years
Heather Wagner Shift Supervisor 5 years
Megan Baker Shift Supervisor 3 years
Susan Martin Telecommunicator 16 years
Hollie Morton Telecommunicator 8 years
Donny Melgar Telecommunicator 8 years
Candice Wilhelm Telecommunicator 7 years
Shari Whiting Telecommunicator 5 years
Eric Albright Telecommunicator 2 years
Tanesha Lockett Telecommunicator 3 years
Katherine Pohlman Telecommunicator 3 years
Ashley Bare Telecommunicator 2 years
Jaycie Holland Telecommunicator 2 years
Hannah Nall Telecommunicator 1 year
Lauren Hardin Telecommunicator 1 year