In honor of National Telecommunications Operators week and National Animal Control Officers week, the Santa Barbara Police Department issued a statement acknowledging the hard work and dedication of two of its most critical partners — dispatchers and animal control officers.
The combined communication center is home to the department’s dispatchers and call takers. Dispatchers, often referred to as the central nervous system of law enforcement agencies, are considered pivotal employees to the department and community in their assistance in law enforcement responses.
“A dispatcher is the first of the first responders,” Ron Dunn, combined communications center manager, said in a statement. “They answer your call, give pre-arrival instructions, listen to cries of those who need help and do a multitude of things at one time — all while keeping our men and women responding to the scene safe. I have been in Public Safety Communications for 28 years, and I can assure you your Santa Barbara Police/Fire dispatchers are some of the finest I have worked with.”
SBPD employs 11 full-time dispatchers, and dispatchers receive approximately 100,000 calls a year, authorities said.
Santa Barbara Animal Control officers are considered essential to the agency as they work to rescue helpless animals from situations of abuse, starvation, neglect, injury and disease. They assist pet owners in locating resources for spay and neuter, low-cost veterinary services, training, and more
“Santa Barbara Police Department Animal Control Officers devote their time and love of animals by responding to tough calls every day and handle these incidents in a humane and compassionate manner,” Animal Control Supervisor Sgt. Kasi Crobett said in a statement. “SBPD Animal Control Officers respond to numerous calls a day and are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to respond to animal emergencies.”
SBPD employs three full-time animal control officers who have a combined 30 years of service. The group responds to an average of 2,000 calls for a service a year.
“Both of these jobs are incredibly difficult and absolutely vital to the day-to-day operations of any law enforcement agency, especially here in Santa Barbara,” Interim Police Chief Bernard Melekian said in a statement. “I would like to acknowledge and thank our dispatchers and Animal Control officers for their continued dedication to their profession and the services they provided to the community.”