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Anaheim Dispatcher Hangs up Headset After 41 Years of Service

Anaheim Disp Lori MurphyLori 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.

To read more, please visit 9-1-1Magazine.com.

Anaheim and Fullerton PDs Commend Girl for Steering her Mother to Safety

by Cristian Soler

A nine-year old girl was honored Thursday night for working with police dispatchers to guide her mother to safety while being followed by a suspicious vehicle.

Nora Rojas is congratulated by Fullerton PD dispatcher Linda Carter and Anaheim PD's Desiree Martinez

Fullerton Police Dispatcher Linda Carter and Anaheim dispatcher Desiree Martinez commended Nora Rojas for her ability to communicate effectively with both police departments during a tense situation.

Nora quietly said “thank you” and smiled as she accepted certificates inside the Anaheim PD Communications Center.  

The incident began shortly after they pulled out of their driveway; Nora and her mother noticed a beige Honda Civic with two passengers making the same conspicuous turns as they did.   

“I was scared because the car kept following us,” said Nora.

Nora was handed the phone after her mother dialed 911 to help translate for her.  

“She did a great job,” said Carter. 

Her mother only speaks Spanish.  

Nora was able to translate instructions to her mother, share their location  and describe the color and model of the suspicious car, Carter said.  

Headed south on State College Boulevard, Carter transferred the call to Martinez when they crossed into Anaheim. 

“She was able to direct her mom where to go,” said Martinez.

Martinez gave Nora turn-by-turn directions to the Anaheim police station.  

Soon after Nora and her mother arrived at APD, the suspicious vehicle was spotted and pulled over for questioning by Anaheim officers, Martinez said. 

No arrests were made. 

Nora, a fourth-grader at Sunkist Elementary, aspires to be an artist one day.  

In her spare time, Nora enjoys drawing in a small notebook. She said she loves to make beaded bracelets, play handball, watch The Simpsons television show and play soccer with her older brother.

Her plans for the summer include a small school project about Native Americans. She also plans to spend time at her sister’s pool, swimming and eating hamburgers with her family and friends.  

Twenty-Five Years Later, Temporary Assignment Becomes Permanent Honor

Sgt. Rick Martinez started serving as an adviser to the Anaheim Police Explorers program more than 25 years ago because the then-chief told him it would be temporary.

Click on the image to view OC Register photographer Armando Brown's entire slideshow

“I joked that it’s the longest temporary job I could have had,” said Martinez, the department’s legendary public information officer. “But also so rewarding.”

Now, the post will bear his badge number forever.

On Wednesday night, dozens of current and former explorers – some now Anaheim Police officers – gave him a standing ovation as the Post 249 banner was unveiled for the first time.

Among the 125 people in the crowd: Orange County Register reporter Eric Carpenter.

“In his more than 25 years as adviser of the Anaheim Police Department’s Explorer program, Sgt. Rick Martinez guided hundreds of young men and women through the program, teaching them leadership, discipline and self-respect,” Carpenter wrote in a story published tonight.

“On Wednesday night, some of those explorers – now adults and some of them professional police officers – returned to honor the man they say was like a second father.

“With the blessing of Anaheim Chief John Welter, the Anaheim Explorers Post – known since the 1970s as Post 174 – was changed in honor of Martinez’s badge number to Post 249.

“It was an unprecedented honor. And a major surprise for Martinez, who now serves as the department’s public information officer.”

To read the rest of Carpenter’s outstanding report, click here.