Lora Smoot, a Public Safety Dispatcher in the Harbor Police Department has been named the 2016 Dispatcher of the Year for the County of San Diego by the Association of Public Safety Dispatchers (APSD).
Each year, the APSD selects one dispatcher from a field of nominees submitted by various law enforcement agencies throughout San Diego County.
Smoot has worked with the Harbor Police for 11 years, providing professionalism and guidance to the public in emergency situations. Her initiative has assisted Harbor Police officers in their field investigations as well as provided support as needed when coordinating efforts with the City of San Diego Police Department communications center.
In March 2016, Smoot was named Dispatcher of the Year for the Harbor Police Department. The Department then submitted her nomination to the APSD for the Dispatcher of the Year for San Diego County.
“Dispatcher Smoot regularly and willingly accepts challenging tasks from supervisors and officers in the field by locating specific information on subjects, victims, locations and other pertinent information while they are on scene,” said John Bolduc, Chief of the Harbor Police. “Her professionalism and ability to communicate with the public and other police agencies are invaluable assets to the Harbor Police Department.”
This year, Smoot’s determination has led to successful resolutions to several incidents. One example was assisting with locating a person who had called 9-1-1 threatening suicide. Smoot was able to keep the caller on the phone until he could be located using cell tower data. She coordinated with multiple agencies during an incident involving a person who committed suicide by jumping from a parking structure. Smoot also assisted with an emergency involving a gunshot being fired that was heard on the San Diego Police Department’s communication frequency. Her swift resolve resulted in 11 Harbor Police units responding to the call for assistance.
In addition to these high points in her career, Smoot worked with a team to map out the west end of San Diego International Airport’s Green Build project in order for specific location information to be entered into the Computer Aided Design (CAD). The Green Build is the airport’s largest improvement project to date, and entering the location information into the CAD will help reduce response times for officers working at the airport.
About the Harbor Police:
The Harbor Police Department is an essential law enforcement agency that provides a range of public safety services to the San Diego region including marine firefighting, vessel patrol, K-9 detection team, dive team and aviation security. The Harbor Police Department has been recognized by the U.S. Department of State for its efforts to support foreign port security and fight international crime.