Professional News

UK Police Department Celebrates its Dispatchers This Week

photo of UK dispatchers Heather Terrell, left, and Kortnie Osbourne, right, at their workstations at UKPD.
University of Kentucky Police Communications Officers Heather Terrell (left) and Kortnie Osbourne at work in the UK Police Department. Photo by Jesica Lopez-Huskey.

LEXINGTON, KY. (April 14, 2020) We all hear of first responders — the police, fire and paramedic crews that are first on scene of emergencies. But the literal first responders of first responders are the communications officers who take calls about those emergencies.

April 12-18 is designated National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week (NPSTW), a time to recognize those personnel without whom public safety officers would not be able to perform their work.

The University of Kentucky Police Department is observing this week of recognition in honor of its team of 10 communications officers.

“NPSTW is a week to celebrate our talented and passionate communications team,” UK Police Chief Joe Monroe said. “Their dedication to UKPD is what sets the standard for our department’s success. We thank each and every one of them for their hard work and effort each and every day.”   

Although not in the public eye, UK Police communications team members are a valuable part of the UKPD team, and their work is appreciated by the officers on the street.

“Dispatchers are our lifeline, the first source of knowledge and the unseen hero behind the mic,” Officer Lee Morris said.

“The dispatchers are a critical asset to every officer on the road — everything from information gathering to officer safety,” said Officer Michael Culver. “I could not do my job without them.”

As part of the celebration of NPSTW, UK Police dispatchers are being treated to donated lunches or dinners as well as a sweet treat each day this week. In keeping with the telecommunications theme of “Thin Gold Line,” UK Police Department personnel are wearing yellow ribbons to show their support. 

Since 1981, the second week of April is observed as National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. For more information, visit

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.