NICE Honors Emergency Communications Professionals with 2021 PSAPS’ Finest Awards, Including First Recipient of Above & Beyond Award

Nine individuals will be recognized in the 16th annual awards program for their skills, knowledge, professionalism and dedication in service to their communities

NICE announced the winners of its 2021 PSAPs’ Finest Awards. Now in its sixteenth year, NICE’s PSAPs’ Finest Awards recognize dedicated individuals and team standouts in public safety emergency communications. Awards are presented annually to winners in the following categories: Lifetime Achievement, and Director, Line Supervisor, Technician, Trainer, Telecommunicator, Innovator and PSAP of the Year. PSAPs’ Finest winners are selected by an independent panel of volunteer judges from the public safety community who evaluate nominees based on their skills, knowledge, professionalism and dedication to service in their communities.

For 2021, NICE also added an Above & Beyond award to acknowledge the exemplary contributions of front-line emergency communications professionals during these challenging times. Achieving this prestigious honor was Daniel Graves, a Police Dispatcher with Denver 911 in Denver, Colorado. Dispatcher Graves was recognized for his consistent and impressive ability to uncover information to assist investigations in real-time. Dispatcher Graves managed several investigations that involved domestic violence calls where, through his skill, persistence, and resourcefulness, he was able to locate and get help to victims.

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“Whether they are handling emergency calls, supervising staff, training new recruits, innovating new ways of doing things, or making technology work, emergency communications professionals play a vital role in connecting the public to emergency services in times of crisis”

This year’s additional PSAPs’ Finest Award recipients include:

  • Director of the Year – Marshall Mooneyham, Assistant Chief, DeKalb County E-911, Decatur, GA
  • Line Supervisor of the Year – Anastasia Sutton, Lieutenant, Sedgwick County Emergency Communications, Wichita, KS
  • Technician of the Year – Elias Jalkh, Assistant Director of Information Technology, Southwest Regional Communications Center, DeSoto, TX
  • Telecommunicator of the Year – Jeffrey Downing, Telecommunicator, Thornton 9-1-1 Emergency Communication Center, Thornton, CO
  • PSAP of the Year – Scottsdale Police Communications, Scottsdale, AZ
  • Trainer of the Year – Amy Young, Training Coordinator/Communication Center Specialist III, Thornton 9-1-1 Emergency Communication Center, Thornton, CO
  • Innovator of the Year – Cecilia A. Carroll, Police Service Officer’s Manager, Pasadena Police Department, Pasadena, TX
  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Anita Kellerman, Dispatcher, Wood County Dispatch, Wisconsin Rapids, WI

“Whether they are handling emergency calls, supervising staff, training new recruits, innovating new ways of doing things, or making technology work, emergency communications professionals play a vital role in connecting the public to emergency services in times of crisis,” said Chris Wooten, Executive Vice President, NICE. “NICE is honored to be able to play a small part in recognizing the outstanding professionals who perform this essential, life-changing work, day after day. I extend my congratulations to all the nominees and winners.”

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The PSAPs’ Finest Awards Program is made possible by emergency communications professionals who volunteer their time to serve as judges. Awards program judge Christopher S. Mueller, Executive Director, Sangamon County (IL) ETSD, said, “It is my hope that these awards are understood to also be a recognition of all the great work done each and every day by the unheralded, anonymous heroes who answer the call for all in their time of need.”

“It has been an honor to serve as a judge for the PSAPs finest awards,” added Deborah Wesolowski Gross, Police Communications Coordinator, Miami-Dade Police Department Communications & Technology Services Bureau. “There are many PSAP staffers who demonstrate exceptionalism throughout their careers by providing service to others. NICE has created a forum for their achievements to be celebrated. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that all of the nominees exemplify the best of us even at the worst of times. Congratulations to all who were nominated – it means that someone noticed!”

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