Gardner named dispatcher of the year

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 9, 2006

Allison T. Williams

Christina Gardner doesn’t just do her job.

The Suffolk Police Department’s emergency communications operator, who last week was named the department’s 2005 Dispatcher of the Year, does it well, often going beyond the call of duty, according to coworker Tracy Deitz.

Email newsletter signup

“She is always very courteous and pleasant with officers, co-workers and citizens alike,” said Deitz, who nominated Gardner for the recognition. “She often goes the extra step to help out.”

Her dedication was exemplified last spring, when an elderly man found wandering in the 4800 block of Holland Road died after being struck by a passing car, said Maj. Larry Wilson, during the awards ceremony. The victim did not have any identification with him.

Although the accident happened on the midnight shift, Gardner, when she came in the next morning to work the day shift, spent hours searching the department’s records system in hopes of helping officers identify the victim.

Gardner’s detective work paid off, Wilson said. She found the name of an elderly man who lived near where the accident happened and had been found walking down the highway on a previous occasion.

“She passed this information on to the investigating officer, who was able to confirm that this information matched the victim at the scene,” Wilson said. “Her efforts expedited the identification of the victim and the overall investigation of the accident.”

Gardner was selected for the recognition by a five-member awards committee, said Detective John Jones, a committee member.

“We reviewed several nominations and voted for her,” he said. “She deserves this award.”