Today we recognize senior Dispatcher Nikki Sawmiller. Dispatcher Sawmiller is also the records clerk for our department. Nikki started with our department in June 1996. She has been previously awarded the Dispatcher of the Year Award and Meritorious Service Award.
When asked, Nikki stated she applied because she wanted to do something meaningful. She had always been fascinated with law enforcement and the criminal justice system. At the time, she didn't have the confidence in herself but found the courage to apply and the rest is history.
Dispatcher Sawmiller said one of the hardest parts of this job is trying not to bring work home with you. Unfortunately first responders deal with some of the most traumatic events for our citizens. After a stressful night or heartbreaking incident; you can't just leave it at the back door when your shift is over. Over her career there are some voices from callers that she has never forgotten. Another challenging part of this profession is being committed to a 24 hour / 365 day a year job. You have to make sacrifices a lot in order to provide services to your community. Lastly, Nikki said not letting bad decisions of others cloud your empathy. It is so easy to become cynical because the majority of what we see is not good. She always tries to remember that this is someone's loved one.
What has been eye opening for Nikki early in her career was getting use to the fact that one moment it would be quite and then the next moment you would have chaos. You always had to be on your toes. After awhile you become more familiar with your role and your ability to multi-task improves. Over the years; Dispatcher Sawmiller said changes in technology and tools available to Officers have been unbelievable. In car computers with capability of creating their own calls and running registrations have made our jobs easier. Evidence collection with DNA has helped clear cases that previously probably would have went unsolved However, technology with social media and "scammers" have preyed on vulnerable people which in turn has created more police assistance.
Nikki said she has had a great career and has worked with some brilliant people. One of the greatest compliments she has received was from an officer telling her that they were glad that she was working during a major incident. Her motto has always been "Hope for the best but prepare for the worst." Nikki lives in Wapakoneta with her husband Jerry.
Thank you Dispatcher Nikki Sawmiller for your job knowledge and wanting things done correctly. Nikki is always giving of her time to assist whenever asked. You have a great way of knowing when an officer needs a minute to decompress or when they need a good laugh.