Niles dispatcher named county’s dispatcher of the year

Published 10:00 am Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Leader photo/CRAIG  HAUPERT — Jon Pedzinski was named the dispatcher of the year in Berrien County.

Leader photo/CRAIG HAUPERT — Jon Pedzinski was named the dispatcher of the year in Berrien County.

Described as an “all around great dispatcher” by his colleagues, Niles’ Jon Pedzinski has received the top honor for dispatchers in Berrien County.

Last week, the 11-year public safety veteran was named the dispatcher of the year for 2015 at the regular meeting of the Berrien County Board of Commissioners.

Pedzinski, who joined the Niles dispatcher force in April 2005, said he is honored to receive the award.

“It is exciting,” said Pedzinski, who has also served as a reserve officer for the Niles Police Department since 1998. “Law enforcement is something I’ve always found interesting so I am just happy to be able to help out.”

Pedzinksi was singled out for a variety of reasons, including his knowledge of the Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN), a system that stores criminal justice information for use between police departments across the country.

Pedzinski was also recognized for assisting the Michigan State Police with the investigation and apprehension of a kidnapping suspect and the safe return of the victim.

“I’m extremely excited and proud of him and all of the dispatchers at the Niles city dispatch center,” said Jenny Huff, communications supervisor for the City of Niles.

The award came during National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, which is a time to recognize the dispatchers who are the first to respond to any type of emergency.

Huff said contributions of dispatchers are often overlooked. Niles dispatchers, she said, are responsible for monitoring more than 20 phone lines and more than 25 radio channels, while at the same time using the radio to keep track of the location and activity of dispatched units.

Niles dispatchers are also responsible for walk-in traffic to the police department, as well as collecting and organizing paperwork and background information needed for police investigations.

“For all their hard and stressful work dispatchers rarely get a thank you or a kind word. No one calls 911 to say they are having a good day,” Huff said. “However if you speak with the dispatchers here they don’t come in to work every day for recognition or pats on the back they have chosen to be a dispatcher and continue to do so because they love the challenge of the job and their community.”