The San Diego Association of Public Safety Dispatchers (SDAPSD) will be presenting awards virtually on Saturday, April 17, 2021 at the 18th Annual Dispatcher Appreciation Awards Ceremony for the categories listed below.  The following outlines nomination requirements, eligibility, and selection criteria for each award.

Award Categories:


This category will recognize an individual dispatcher who has contributed significantly to the profession of public safety dispatching throughout the prior calendar year. A candidate for Dispatcher of the Year is more than a single incident; he or she is a continual example of excellence.
Evidence of a significant contribution may be, but is not limited to: exemplary performance on a consistent basis, substantial efforts made to better the profession through training or innovation, or continual mentoring and teamwork that betters the organization.

The nomination narrative shall include:

Dispatcher’s date of hire, job classification, and basis for selection
Citations/awards/commendations received as applicable to the nomination
Work-related achievements, projects, or programs
Positive comments made by superiors, co-workers, citizens, or media
Participation in professional or community organizations

Each agency may submit ONE recipient for Dispatcher of the Year – no exceptions.  Each nominee/recipient will be recognized with a certificate at the banquet and will be eligible to be named the SDAPSD Dispatcher of the Year.  That award recipient will receive a plaque.


This category will recognize the Communications Center that performed most admirably over the past calendar year.
Reasons for recognition can vary from overcoming substantial personnel issues, innovative approaches to dispatching, or a prolonged single event in which the center worked together to further public safety.

This award will consist of a plaque that can be displayed in the winning Communications Center.


This category will recognize a single dispatcher or a team of dispatchers who performed well during one significant event or incident.  Only ONE nomination will be accepted for a single incident.  If more than one nomination is received for the same incident, they will be returned to the agency to combine into one.  There is no limit to the number of separate incidents that can be nominated per agency.  Each dispatcher involved in the chosen Incident of the Year will receive a certificate and the agency will receive a plaque.


This category will recognize an individual manager, supervisor, or lead dispatcher who has consistently exhibited traits and values that exemplify leadership within his or her Communications Center.

Examples of leadership traits and values can include, but is not limited to:  integrity, fairness, dedication, being a visionary, being innovative, serving as a role model, inspiring others, mentoring and coaching others, building and maintaining trust, or recognizing the good work of others.

To be eligible for this award, nominees must have been a manager, supervisor, lead dispatcher, or similar classification having the authority and responsibility for directing and supervising the actions of dispatch personnel and operations within his or her Communications Center during the prior calendar year.  Each agency may submit ONE nomination for the Supervisory Leadership Award - no exceptions.  The recipient will receive a plaque.


Nominees must have been employed as a full-time dispatcher for a public safety agency in San Diego County at any time between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020.

Nomination Process

All nominations must be submitted on the online Nomination Form provided on the SDAPSD website, at www.apsdonline.org.
Any person can submit a nomination for Incident of the Year and Communications Center of the Year.  More than one nomination in these categories can be submitted by any one individual. Each Police and Fire Agency in San Diego County can submit ONE recipient for Dispatcher of the Year, and ONE nominee for the Supervisory Leadership Award.  A dispatcher can be nominated for more than one category.  A separate nomination form must be completed for each category the dispatcher is nominated for. For example: A dispatcher nominated for Dispatcher of the Year who was also involved in an incident nominated for Incident of the Year will need to have one nomination form submitted for Dispatcher of the Year and a second, separate nomination form for the Incident of the Year.

Submission Guidelines

Nomination narratives shall be limited to no more than 500 words.  Any narratives over the limit will be edited by the Association Awards Committee to the first 500 words.

Nominations will only be accepted via the online Nomination Form, unless the Association deems it necessary to accept nominations via other means, due to any unforeseen malfunction with the online Nomination Form.


Nominations must be received by 5:00 PM on Thursday, March 25, 2021.

San Diego Association of Public Safety Dispatchers


Call for questions.