LAPD hosts local celebration of National Dispatchers Week

Thanks, Dispatchers!

LAPD: The LAPD celebrated National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week – popularly known as National Dispatchers Week – April 11-17, honoring its dispatchers. There were no open houses at the Valley, Metro or DOC Communication Centers, as City facilities are closed to outsiders during the pandemic.

For the first time, LAPD/Communications recognized First Responders with the First Responder of the Year awards.

In 1992, President George H. Bush established National Dispatchers Week to honor police dispatchers for providing vital emergency services to their community nationwide. The LAPD has been celebrating it ever since.

Usually, the Club celebrates National Dispatchers Week in person. But because of COVID-19, the event has been less public.

Thanks, Dispatchers, for all you do to keep us safe!

2 0 2 0  E M P L O Y E E S  O F  T H E  Y E A R

Sr. Police Service Representative of the Year
Angelica Hano
Sr. Police Service Representative I (Metro)
Angelica is a 26-year tenured employee with two years supporting the day-to-day floor operations as a supervisor. She is a consummate professional in everything she accomplishes. Hano always goes above and beyond her administrative expectations to support Communications Division personnel.

From left: Ruben Ponce, Sarah Ponce and Chief Michel Moore.

Sr. Police Service Representative of the Year
Sarah Ponce
Sr. Police Service Representative (Sr. PSR) I (Valley)
Sarah is a 17-year tenured employee with two years of supervisory experience. She is highly motivated, carrying out assignments, and displays a willingness to learn new technologies and successfully applying what she learns. Ponce is constantly looking to streamline protocol, prioritizing her work to meet deadlines, and she is an effective presenter.

Police Officer of the Year
Norma Vargas
Police Officer III
Norma is a 25-year tenured employee. She has 15 years of experience at the Department Operations Center (DOC) from when it was called the Real-time Analysis and Critical Response (RACR) Division. Officer Vargas is a wealth of knowledge at the DOC. She has ridden the tide of changes that have come and gone and has developed a mastery of DOC functions. Her tasks and responsibilities are completed with utmost professionalism. She is reliable and has shared her vast experience to her fellow police officers and Police Service Representatives (PSRs) who require her assistance.

Police Service Representative II of the Year
Raphael Olano
Police Service Representative (Metro)
Raphael began his career at Communications Division on April 17, 2017. Since the onset of his career, PSR Olano has established a go-getter attitude evident in all the positions he has held while in the Division. As a Radio Telephone Operator (RTO), he appropriately handles field unit requests. His excellent abilities have been applauded, including the handling of complex officer emergencies. As an Emergency Board Operator (EBO), Olano is courteous and displays a willingness to help.

Police Service Representative III of the Year
Mina Chong
Police Service Representative III (PSR III) (Valley)
Mina began her career with Communications Division March 24, 2003. She is highly recognized for her knowledge, positive attitude, strong work ethics and caring demeanor. Whether, a citizen, an officer, or a co-worker, each are treated with the same level of respect and compassion. She represents Communication Division’s Core Value of “Commitment to Leadership.”

Administrative Employee of the Year
Rebecca Lantz
Sr. Police Service Representative (Sr. PSR) I
Rebecca is a 23-year tenured employee with more than three years of supervisory experience. She is a highly efficient leader with an impressive wealth of knowledge and unfaltering grace under pressure. Her determination to get the job done and find solutions to problems are a few of the many things that make her an outstanding Supervisor.

Sworn Supervisor of the Year
James Merle, Sgt. II
James is 23-year tenured employee. He is a steadfast Watch Commander (WC), proactively seeking advice, opinions, and concerns from all ranks to provide continuous improvement. During emergency situations, Sgt. Merle clearly exercises command and control with humility and strength that garners respect from all who witness his work. Sgt. Merle remains highly invested in the employees he serves.

Lt. Charles Arthur Mealey Humanitarian of the Year
Maisha Parnell, PSR III
The year 2020 seemed to start like any other year, full of new beginnings and hope, but it soon turned into a year filled with tragic, heartbreaking and stressful moments due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With all the bad that 2020 brought us, there have been many acts of kindness by many of our Communications Division employees, but one employee who stood out for her desire to help with this pandemic was PSR III Maisha Parnell. Maisha’s compassion and passion to serve others was quickly demonstrated when she made herself available to assist Medical Liaison Section (MLS) with organizing and administering COVID-19 testing for Department employees. Maisha was also instrumental in spearheading the ongoing testing at Communications Division. Police Service Representative Parnell also continues volunteering her time at medical facilities in her neighborhood outside of her work hours. She makes herself available via text, email and phone to anyone with questions or concerns about this ever-evolving virus. Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: “What are you doing for others?” PSR Parnell continues to demonstrate her commitment to serve others by the work she performs every day.

First Responders of the Year

Rachel Placensia

Cheryl Chase

Cheryl Chase

Fabiola Lomeli