April 15, 2013
This week, April 14 – 20, we are thanking and recognizing the tireless efforts of the men and women who work behind the scenes in our dispatch centers during National Public Safety Telecommunications Week. Initially set up over 30 years ago and now celebrated annually around the country, the second full week of April is designated as a time when citizens and public safety employees can thank our emergency dispatch professionals for their help 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.
One of those special individuals is Telecommunicator II Tawny Woodward. A dispatcher at the Oregon State Police (OSP) Northern Command Center in Salem, Tawny has been with our Department since 2007. At any moment, a dispatcher can answer routine questions or be giving someone who is lost directions to their destination, get involved in a critical incident or developing emergency, or be linked to a potentially violent law enforcement situation.
During her six years with OSP, Tawny has worked several serious incidents in her dispatcher role. In December 2008, she was working the Salem console during the Woodburn bombing incident that resulted in the death of an OSP hazardous device technician and a Woodburn police captain, and serious injuries to Woodburn’s police chief. She worked the entire incident while remaining calm and in control, keeping administrative staff informed at all times. The work of emergency dispatchers at the OSP Northern Command Center and North Marion County Communications center received the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) 2008-2009 Critical Incident Award for their work during the stressful and tragic Woodburn bombing incident.
“During major incidents and the routine calls, Tawny maintains her composure and receives praise from both co-workers and our administrative staff,” said dispatch supervisor Cecilia Haess.
Tawny is Field Training Evaluation Program (FTEP) certified and part of the Northern Command Center’s training team. She is also the newest member of the dispatch centers Incident Dispatch Team.
Each day, our dispatch center employees like Tawny are usually the first and most critical contact citizens have with our Department’s emergency services. They take phone calls ranging from the routine question to what-may-be the most frightening moment in someone’s life. They are the single vital link helping our troopers and other public safety responders during each call for service and request for information.
We appreciate all emergency dispatch center call takers, dispatchers, supervisors and their support staff for the work they do to help us each day.
Learn about our two Command Center dispatch locations at: