Brandy Krohn, Christie Kessler, and Jerry Mickel
Three emergency response dispatchers with the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department were honored with an award by the Mississippi Chapter of the Association of Public Safety Communication Officials (APCO) at the group’s annual conference in Biloxi.
The team of Brandy Krohn, Christie Kessler and Jerry Mickel were given APCO’s Larry Lindsey Award 2009.
It is usually given to one person but was given to these three because they worked together closely handling a tragic event that took place in north Harrison County in May 2008.
On the night of the event, a series of 911 calls came in as domestic violence, a possible shooting, then a triple homicide, the death of an unborn child and a suicide. Throughout this ordeal, the dispatchers communicated with the victims until their deaths and coordinated response with law enforcement and fire department officials.
Krohn, Kessler and Mickel were nominated for the award by their supervisor, Capt. Walter Pitts. Referring to dispatchers as the forgotten ones, Pitts said, “It was a traumatic event for the dispatchers who usually don’t get recognition for what they do. They demonstrated outstanding care and professional conduct to the victims on the phone. One of the dispatchers was on the phone with one of the victims when the caller was killed.”
Pitts credits the dispatchers with giving information to responding patrol officers that saved their lives. Mickel had been on the job only six months at the time. Without a doubt the communications and directions resulted in a coordinated and tactical response to the units on the scene.
This award helps to remind that dispatchers make a difference. Our goal is to keep everyone safe on the scene and to take care and help the people we serve in our communities on a daily basis.”
The award is named for the late Larry Lindsey, founder of the APCO Mississippi Chapter, and is given annually. It honors dispatchers for their dedication and professional conduct in the field of public safety.