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San Diego Association of Public Safety Dispatchers

Incident of the year


Nomination Catagory
Incident of the Year
Nominee Name:
San Diego Sheriff's Department
Nominee Agency:
San Diego Sheriff's Department
Nominee Title:
Emergency Services Dispatchers

Please describe in 500 words or less why the nominee should receive this award:
On April 27th, 2019 an armed gunman entered the Chabad of Poway synagogue and opened fire. Neighbors in the area began frantically calling 9-1-1 as they saw patrons fleeing from the synagogue. Emergency Services Dispatcher (ESD) Sarah Ward was assigned as the Poway radio dispatcher. As a flood of calls came in, Sarah relayed information immediately with a calm and even tone. She used a cursory eye to sift through and broadcast new and pertinent information to responding units clearly. Before units arrived, the alleged gunman called 9-1-1. His call routed to the California Highway Patrol who promptly transferred him to the Sheriff's Communications Center. ESD Frank Klos answered the call and began obtaining the gunman's location, description, and other critical information. Frank maintained a calm demeanor and updated the CAD event quickly and accurately. The information provided and broadcast to other agencies led to the quick apprehension of the shooter. One woman was killed and three others were injured during this incident. The horrifying nature of the event, large scale response and the sheer volume of calls left a lasting impact on our Communications Center. The exceptional teamwork between everyone working within the Sheriff's Communications Center as well as dispatchers and officers from other agencies throughout the County fueled a cohesive response which led to swift assistance to the patrons of Chabad of Poway that day.