Lori Murphy has been a police dispatcher almost as long as the 9-1-1 Emergency System has existed. After 41 years of service, she is hanging up her headset for retirement to enjoy the good life. On December 19th, 2012, she answered her last 9-1-1 call during her final graveyard shift before signing off for the last time.
In 1972, Murphy started her career with the Tustin Police Department in Southern California as a dispatcher. She quickly learned that the position entailed much more than just talking over a radio. She was also responsible for searching and booking female inmates, along with processing department records over her night shift. However, Tustin was a rather slow city at that time because the city was still growing and developing. She only had to worry about 3 officers on patrol at any given time in the city and Tustin Police shared radio communication frequency with the Santa Ana and Orange police departments. She recalls one night early in her career when she was working the night shift alone a riot broke out at Tustin High School after a boys’ basketball game. Murphy scrambled to call surrounding agencies and request assistance.
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