Pella Police Communications Specialist Shelly Sample was recognized for her service by the Iowa Chapter of the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO).
Sample was nominated by the department and selected as a finalist for Iowa APCO Telecommunicator of the Year.
Communications Supervisor Marcia Slycord says the honor was earned because of Sample’s efforts in handling a large number of 911 calls that followed a fatal crash at the Pella Walmart last December.
“The Walmart incident was a unique incident–especially for a department our size, that not only affected citizens, victims that either were fatally injured or just injured as a whole, and their families were affected and we had to deal with that as well,” Slycord says. “And then when you encompass the emergency responders and everyone that responded, it was quite an event to manage in the Pella PD Communication Center.”
Sample was also responsible for immediately dispatching emergency crews to help those affected, coordinating the agencies responding to the tragedy throughout the day, and fielding numerous calls from witnesses.
Slycord says Sample has been a model employee in the communications office, and reflects the quality of work provided by the Pella PD communications staff and their critical role in protecting and serving the public.
“Shelly did respond exceptionally well,” she says. “It’s a lot of things being thrown at you at one time, which isn’t unique in our profession, but needs to be recognized not only by the city but by the entire state.”
Sample was honored as a finalist by the APCO earlier this week.