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

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.