SEASIDE — When Sgt. Jason Goodding was shot and killed the night of Feb. 5, the first person to take the call was a Seaside police dispatcher.
The dispatchers on duty that night were veteran 911 operators, Dispatch Supervisor Stacey Brown said. That didn’t make their jobs any easier.
Over the next days, most Seaside police and emergency responders were spelled by members of outside agencies who came in to fill their spots. Dispatchers however, only a had a brief time to attend the service and other functions, Brown said, but overall they worked through the week. “Anything that comes in to the department goes through them, calling in and dispatching officers to the incident,” she said.
Brown hopes to encourage the community to recognize the dispatchers for their service.
There are seven dispatchers, Brown said at a Seaside Chamber of Commerce breakfast Friday.
“On Feb. 5, I’m thankful two of our more senior dispatchers were on duty,” she said. “They were very professional and able to handle it. But on the other hand, they knew Jason well. I’m impressed at their composure and how they got through and did the job they were hired to do and waited till later to break down. It’s just impressive the level of professionalism and what they had to endure. And they did it.”
Along with grief for a co-worker, they also lost a friend, Brown said.
“Seaside Police Department is close-knit,” she said. “Even dispatch. It’s like one large family you work with. It was devastating for everyone.”
“I’m not picky, but I think they deserve something special,” Brown said.