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Lincoln dispatcher honored last week

Placer County Law Enforcement Agency gives Staci Poole award
By: Michelle Carl Gold Country News Service
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It was a night to honor those just doing their job. But for many of these individuals, including honored Lincoln dispatcher Staci Poole, doing their job means lives are saved. Placer County Law Enforcement Agencies held the annual Honors and Awards Ceremony last Thursday at Sunset Christian Center in Rocklin. The night’s keynote speaker was also just doing her job but it lead to the solving of one of the nation’s most infamous kidnapping cases. Officer Ally Jacobs of the University of California at Berkeley Police Department is credited with helping crack the Jaycee Lee Dugard kidnapping case and bring her captor, Philip Garrido, to justice. In her first speaking engagement, Jacobs recounted the story of Aug. 26, 2009, the day Garrido was arrested and her life changed forever. The previous day, Jacobs was tired and ready to end her shift when she was persuaded to sit in on a meeting with another campus officer and a man with his two daughters. The man went off on a tirade, not unusual for Berkeley, she said. “But then the children caught my eye,” said Jacobs, a mother of two boys. “You have this crazy guy with these two beautiful kids. It didn’t add up.” She gathered as much evidence as she could from the conversation but had to let him go. “It was so frustrating for me that I had nothing to go on other than my gut,” she said. “My stomach hurt. I did not want to let those kids go with him.” A call to his parole officer raised suspicions that these were not his kids. Later that night, Jacobs got a call back from the officer, saying the tip on Garrido had helped find Jaycee Dugard. Then Jacobs’ life changed with a flurry of media attention for her actions. But it was the praise she got from her peers that meant the most, she said. She left the room filled with law enforcement members and their families by telling them that they deserve this praise. “Don’t be afraid to do your job,” she said. “Do it like no one is watching. And if you do that, you are going above and beyond.” Staci Poole recognized for distinguished service Lincoln Police Department dispatcher Poole was recognized at the awards ceremony for her determination in finding the location of a terminated 9-1-1 call in which the caller talked about having a gun to his head. At 11:20 a.m. on Dec. 25, 2010, Poole received a cellular 9-1-1 call. She heard two men talking; one of the men said he had a gun to his head, according to Placer County Law Enforcement Agencies. At that point, the call was terminated. Poole tried unsuccessfully to find the location of the caller through the 9-1-1 system. After trying several other resources, Poole located the address of the call and sent officers. Arriving, officers found a male subject holding a shotgun to his head. Poole was working alone and handled many demands, including calling for SWAT, mutual aid and additional help for herself in dispatch. She accomplished all those call outs while maintaining excellent communications with her field units and answering incoming telephone calls, according to Placer County Law Enforcement Agencies. The incident was resolved successfully with a person being taken safely into custody and no injuries to officers. For her tenacity in finding the location of the caller and her excellent dispatching skills during this critical incident, Poole was awarded a Distinguished Service Commendation. Other honorees at the ceremony: Auburn Police Department: Detective Rick Hardesty received the Silver Medal of Valor for responding to the sound of gunfire at a neighbor’s home while off duty. Hardesty was able to detain a man at the scene who has since been charged with homicide. California Highway Patrol: Lt. John Arrabit received the Lifesaving Effort Award for saving a 4-year-old girl choking on a hot dog while at a restaurant. Wayne Lyndon was recognized for volunteer service. Placer County Sheriff’s Office: Senior Crime Analyst Barbara Beverly was recognized for distinguished service for providing vital crime statistic information to patrol, investigations and the community. John Borg, Nancy Hewitt, Janie Shattuck and Daylene MacKay were recognized for their volunteer service at the Placer County Sheriff’s Office Foresthill Substation. Placer County Probation Department: Probation Officer Lisa Madden received the Lifesaving Effort Award for pulling a drowning girl from a pool and performing CPR, saving her life. Rocklin Police Department: Cpl. Jason Westgate and Officer Greg Jensen received Bronze Medals of Honor for risking their own lives to try and pull a 17-year-old boy from a burning car. Community Service Officer Tracy Hedrick received the Lifesaving Effort Award for responding to a man suffering a heart attack at McDonalds. David Kemp was recognized for volunteer service for his nearly 2,000 hours of assistance he has provided to the department’s patrol program. Roseville Police Department: Officers Cori Preheim and Rick Randolph were given Distinguished Service Awards for starting the Crossfit fitness program at the Roseville Police Activities League. Lt. Maria Richardson received the Chaplain’s Award for her work reaching out to the Hispanic/Latino community. Lt. Marc Glynn received the Mark White Memorial Award for planning the first Roseville Police and Fire Community Safety Day at the Westfield Galleria. Retired Roseville Police Sgt. William “Bud” Herring was recognized for volunteer service for leading the Citizens on Patrol program and contributing 2,200 hours of service. Michelle Carl can be reached at michellec@goldcountrymedia.com.