On April 12, the California Public Safety Radio Association (CPRA) held its annual Telecommunicator Awards banquet. This marks the 24th consecutive year that CPRA has sponsored this event to honor telecommunicators throughout Southern California. There were 257 award recipients, friends and guests present. Assemblywoman Norma Torres, 41st District, was present for the third year to assist in making the evening special. Torres is herself a former dispatcher. Robert Stoffel of the Orange County Sheriffs Communications Department served as master of ceremonies for the event.
The Telecommunicator of the Year Award went to Ryan Dedmon of the Anaheim Police Department.
A Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Deborah Stevens of the South Bay Regional Communications Authority. She was honored for her 30 years of service as a communications operator.
A special award was presented to a four-member team of the West Cities Communication Center. They are Kelli Morton, Edith Davenport, Cheryl Austin and Joy Nasser. They were on duty when a crazed gunman entered a hair salon in Seal Beach, Calif., and shot and killed eight people. Their ability to remain calm and coordinate the efforts of multiple responding agencies was noteworthy. The sole survivor was present at the banquet in support of the dispatchers.
Earlier in the day at the regular CPRA Chapter meeting, awards were presented to winners in the technical arena. They were:
- RF Engineer of the Year Todd Paulick, Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Communications and Technology Division
- RF Technologist of the Year Steven Page, City of Pasadena, Department of Information and Technology
- IT Technologist of the Year Brent Rolf, San Bernardino County Information Services
- RF Technologist of the Year Runner Up Steve Hall, ComSerCo