Police Chief Dino Sgambellone with Dispatcher Cari Mace. Courtesy/LAPD
Consolidated Dispatch Center Manager Kate Stoddard, left, with Dispatcher Cari Mace. Courtesy/LAPD
The Los Alamos Police Department has announced that Dispatcher Cari Mace graduated Dec. 14 as valedictorian of Public Safety Telecommunicator Class #141.
Dispatcher Mace was one of 25 students from 17 different agencies in Class #141, and she had an average exam rate of 99.75 percent.
New Mexico Statue Chapter 29 Article 7C outlines the qualifications for certification as a Public Safety Telecommunicator. Every dispatcher must become certified within one year of employment. New Mexico Administrative Code 10.29.10 mandates all PST complete a minimum of 130 hours of training in eight blocks of instruction that includes, but is not limited to, critical incident management and interdisciplinary incident command system, the National Crime Information Center, call processing, applicable technology, criminal offenses and the criminal justice systems at the municipal, county, state and federal level, interactions with individuals with mental impairments and crisis management, and fire and medical communications.
Upon successful completion of the training, the PSTs are awarded a certificate through the Department of Public Safety’s Law Enforcement Academy. PSTs are required to recertify every two years, and must complete a minimum of 20 hours of law enforcement certified continuing education in order to do so.
In addition to being certified as PSTs, all LAPD dispatchers are certified as Emergency Fire Dispatchers and all are certified and licensed as Emergency Medical Dispatchers. Each of these certifications and license also require additional specific continuing education hours and recertification exams every two years.
The Los Alamos Police Department employs 13 full time PSTs, and Dispatcher Mace joins a tradition of valedictorians from LAPD.