And the Winner is…San Francisco Dispatcher of the Year: Cori Cruz
Public Safety Dispatcher Corinina “Cori” Cruz was selected by her colleagues as Dispatcher of the Year for her heroic efforts while working the police radio channel during a call for dispatch from a father who reported his son was suicidal, armed with a gun, and driving a stolen vehicle. When officers arrived on scene they saw the suspect leaving the area in a vehicle. The officers began following the vehicle and soon after the suspect fired his weapon and a police chase ensued on city streets, taking the freeway, and eventually ending on Treasure Island.
During the chase the armed subject held a gun to his head while driving. He exited the vehicle on Treasure Island, and continued to pose a threat to police officers and himself. A hostage negotiator was summoned to the scene. Following numerous hours of negotiations the armed subject shot himself ending his own life.
This was a very volatile incident that had potential risk to the lives of many. Cori handled every aspect of this event professionally, while remaining calm and poised during this unstable and unpredictable scene, coordinating the responses of more than 40 San Francisco Police Officers.
Cori is cool, calm and professional as a dispatcher. However, in between calls we see a person that is caring, humble, and soft spoken. When asked about her award she defers to her colleagues and how it was truly a team effort. She is quick to point out that her fellow dispatchers and her supervisors all pitched in by coordinating the additional resources needed as she was busy on the radio.
Like nurses, police officers and firefighters, there is a dispatcher on duty 24/7. Cori often misses family gatherings and nights with friends because she’s on duty protecting the people of San Francisco. Cori is quick to point out that all dispatchers make this sacrifice and she is no different.
Cori’s professionalism and her personality endear her to her colleagues. Whenever she is on the phone she is the first voice of reassurance people hear when they call 9-1-1. On the radio, she calmly coordinates her fellow first responders so they and the public stay safe. Corinina Cruz is a credit to her fellow dispatchers and is one of our everyday heroes that keep San Francisco safe.