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Clearwater police operator saluted with employee award

Published:   |   Updated: September 18, 2013 at 05:10 PM

CLEARWATER — Senior Operator Sam Taylor has been selected as the recipient of the Clearwater Police Department Communications Center’s Bi-Annual Employee Award.
 
Taylor, who has worked for the department for nearly 10 years, was honored for his excellent everyday performance as a senior operator and trainer.
 
In addition, he was recognized for his efforts on June 6 of this year.
 
That’s when the Veterans Crisis Hotline received a phone call from a man who indicated he was contemplating suicide. He gave no name and hung up before the crisis center could identify him or determine his location.
 
Attempted callbacks went unanswered, but the center was able to get a first name from his voice mail.
 
Supplied with the caller’s first name and cell phone number, Taylor did research and identified the phone service provider. He then had the company track where that phone was located. The information was relayed to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.
 
“Based on the information you provided and their follow-up interview, deputies were able to then Baker Act the subject,” wrote Robert W. Jones, communications manager for the city police department. “The way you handled this call may very well have saved this subject’s life.”
 
The Baker Act is a Florida law that allows a person to be involuntarily committed for 72 hours for a mental health evaluation.
 
Taylor also has been instrumental in training new communications center employees and has been in charge of various shifts.
 
“I have observed you being an individual who possesses an excellent work ethic and holds himself to a higher standard,” Jones wrote. “You have truly provided exceptional service to the Clearwater Police Department and the citizens of our community.”
 
The department’s communications center received 190,000 calls last year. More than three dozen people are employed there full time.

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