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Good to see officer get honor

We love stories about everyday heroes, dedicated people who make a difference by doing their jobs day in and day out.

Kerri Burnside, Denton County Sheriff’s Office 911 communications officer, is a good example of the kind of hero we’re talking about.

Officer Burnside was named the 2012 Telecommunicator of the Year at the 11th annual Heroes of Denton County Awards and Recognitions Gala held Sept. 27 at the Texas Motor Speedway Ballroom.

If Officer Burnside’s name sounds familiar, that may because she was named Telecommunicator of the Year by the Texas Chapter of the Emergency Number Association at the organization’s April conference, held jointly with the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials.

Officer Burnside’s performance and dedication obviously set a high standard. We offer our congratulations on this latest honor along with our thanks for her service.

Her selection as 2012 Telecommunicator of the Year was not based on a single, beyond-the-call-of-duty incident, but for her consistently excellent day-to-day performance, according to a news release from the Denton County Sheriff’s Office.

Officials stated that Officer Burnside is meticulous and proactive in the performance of her duties, and that she has earned a reputation as a “professional’s professional” among co-workers and emergency responders.

She was nominated for the award by Sgt. Bonnie Putnam, who said Officer Burnside often seeks out additional information while a call is still in progress to help her fellow dispatchers and agency officers who are involved. Sgt. Putnam cited an example:

“While working the radio during a pursuit, Kerri was keeping an eye on our CAD map and the GPS indicators of the responding units,” Sgt. Putnam stated. “She noticed that two responding units were approaching the same intersection at the same time and immediately notified both officers of their respective locations. This information possibly prevented what could have been a serious accident, and after the call was resolved, the responding officers called in and thanked her for watching out for their welfare.”

Sgt. Putman also praised Officer Burnside for taking an active role in fostering strong and cohesive relationships between dispatchers and the agencies served by the Denton County Sheriff’s Office Communications Division.

Sheriff Benny Parkey stated in the news release that the diligence and professionalism shown by Officer Burnside are exemplary.

“This is truly an award to be proud of, not only for Officer Burnside, but for the Denton County Sheriff’s Office and the other 35 law and fire department agencies the communications department dispatches for,” he stated.

Sheriff Parkey concluded by stating that the residents of Denton County are lucky to have professionals such as Officer Burnside working for their safety.

We agree, and again, we commend her for outstanding service and dedication.

It’s nice to see an “everyday hero” get the recognition she deserves.