Jody Dye’s toughest call as an emergency dispatcher for the Mississippi Highway Patrol came on May 29, 2009. That day he did his best at his desk while his colleague, longtime patrolman Steve Hood, was killed as the result of a high-speed pursuit.
Dye, 29, of Bruce was awarded the 2010 Larry Lindsey award for his work that day. The Larry Lindsey Award is given to recognize those who strive for greater service to the public as an emergency dispatcher.
The award is given by the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials, the Mississippi Chapter, at its yearly conference. This year’s event was held at the Bancorp South Conference Center in Tupelo, MS.
Dye has been a dispatcher since 2003. One of his biggest challenges while on the job was dispatching for the city of Hattiesburg in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina rolled in. However, he said the night Hood died was like a nightmare that wouldn’t end.
“I was the one working the calls so I was the one to get it,” said Dye. “It was unreal; I couldn’t believe what was happening. But much to everyone’s surprise I was able to remain calm and get the job done. That call still makes me emotional. So to win an award for doing my job that night is so bittersweet for me.
Dye said to this day he doesn’t know how he was able to remain so calm that night, but when he got home, the events of the day set in. “When I made it home and realized Steve was really gone, it was hard for me,” he said. “His son and I were trying to get in patrol school together, so we became close. When I look at his daughters, I see him, and that is hard.”
“I love what I do,” he said. “I love being the first line of defense to help people. The patrolmen are out there every day doing a great job protecting our highways, so I’m glad to be able to back them up. Steve was one of those guys who loved his job and it showed. I believe everyone has a chosen path and being a patrolman is mine.”
Jody’s dedication and professional conduct to the field of Public Safety has earned him this prestigious award presented to him from the Dispatchers in the state of MS. Los of life from a Public Safety Official is the worst nightmare a dispatcher will ever have to cope and deal with. Jody Dye exceeded everyone expectations of his job performance that night, for this we say congratulations for a excellent job you performed on the night of May 29, 2009.