VAN WERT – A large group of public officials, including law
enforcement, county commissioners and other Van Wert officials gathered
at Wild Willy’s on Thursday afternoon to honor local dispatchers inside
the city and the surrounding area.
The special luncheon was given in recognition of April 9 to 15 serving as National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.
week is in recognition and honor of emergency dispatchers, those who
have chosen public safety as a profession across the country,” said Kim
Brandt, 911 Coordinator for Van Wert County, who organized the event.
“With dispatchers being available 24 hours a day, the career choice can
Cathy Binkley, who is a dispatcher for the
Sheriff’s Department, worked for eight years, retired for two years and
then came back. This time, she is not even thinking of retiring.
“I love dispatching,” said Binkley. “I love working with people in the Sheriff’s Office.”
said that after she retired she heard situations on the radio where she
would have been able to reach out and help if she were at the
“It got to where I could hardly stand it, to
hear of these situations and not be able to do anything to help,” said
Binkley. “That’s when I decided to come back and get involved again.”
get all kinds of calls, kids, suicides,” continued Binkley. “If someone
is threatening suicide, you try to talk them out of it. The main thing
is to keep them talking until the law enforcement gets there. I try to
think of myself as their mother and try to focus on their needs until
the deputies get there.”
Rick Spoor has been a dispatcher for the Van Wert Police Department for 27 years.
love working with the people and helping them through bad situations,”
said Spoor, who worked second shift for 20 years and is now working day
shift. “It’s my job to find out where it’s at and get them going. It’s
important to follow up and keep both the officers and callers safe.”
Wert Mayor Jerry Mazur and the county commissioners both issued special
proclamations with extreme praise for the work of the dispatchers.
work of dispatchers is paramount in my heart,” said Mazur. “Every
second counts as does dispensing with accuracy. They need to get people
out in the shortest amount of time without any flaws. Thankfully, we
have those kinds of dispatchers in Van Wert.”
Wilcox has been working for the Van Wert County Sheriff’s Office since
2002. He started four days before the devastating tornado that roared
through parts of the city.
“What a way to get broken in. It was a real awakening,” said Wilcox.
said there is no way to describe the satisfaction of knowing that
someone’s life has been saved as a result of the team working together.
never get to see 90 percent of the people we help, but once in a while
we get a chance to meet them. That is always such a thrill,” said
Ironically, Wilcox’s daughter, Brittany Sinn, has worked dispatch for the Ohio State Highway Patrol for three years.
noted that her perspective is a little different because her department
concentrates more on traffic stops and overseeing the officers.
“This is something I always wanted to do,” said Sinn. “I worked on the Explorer Post for the Sheriff’s Department for 10 years.”
Pam Dull worked briefly for the Sheriff’s Department and now she works fulltime for the Highway Patrol.
always liked law enforcement; my sister is in law enforcement,” said
Dull. “You know that the work you are doing is really serious business.
You get services to people as fast as you can. It’s always nice to hear
words of appreciation that come to you from time to time.”