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Kerri Burnside named 2012 Communicator of the Year
From staff reports
Denton County Sheriff's Office 911 Communications Officer Kerri Burnside was named the 2012 Telecommunicator of the Year at the 11th Annual Heroes of Denton County Awards and Recognitions Gala held at the Texas Motor Speedway Ballroom Thursday.
Officer Burnside was chosen not on the basis of a single, beyond-the-call-of-duty incident, but for the consistently excellent day-to-day performance. She is meticulous and proactive in the performance of her duties, and she has earned a reputation as a "professional's professional" among her co-workers and the emergency responders with whom she interacts.
Sergeant Bonnie Putnam, who nominated her for the award, said that Officer Burnside often seeks out additional information while a call is still in progress to help her fellow dispatchers and agency officers involved in the call. One good example of this happened recently during a pursuit.
"While working the radio during a pursuit, Kerri was keeping an eye on our CAD map and the GPS indicators of the responding units," Sergeant Putnam said. "She noticed that two responding units were approaching the same intersection same time and immediately notified both officers of their respective locations. This information possibly prevented what could have been a serious accident, and after the call was resolved, the responding officers called in and thanked her for watching out for their welfare."
Sergeant Putnam said that the officers she dispatches are confident that they are being well looked after when they hear her voice.
"She takes an active role to foster strong and cohesive relationships between dispatchers and the agencies we serve," she said. "She has an excellent rapport, not only with the agencies we serve, but with her fellow coworkers as well."
Sheriff Benny Parkey said that the diligence and professionalism shown by Officer Burnside was exemplary of the standards valued and fostered by the communications department.
"This is truly an award to be proud of, not only for Officer Burnside, but for the Denton County Sheriff's Office and the other 35 law and fire department agencies the communications department dispatches for," Sheriff Parkey said. "The day-to-day dedication shown by Officer Burnside is vital to upholding the quality of professionalism this department has been able to attain, and the citizens of Denton County are fortunate to have professionals such as Officer Burnside working for their safety."