Focused Dispatcher Wins Communicator of the Year
Because of her steady and calm demeanor when dispatching the police response to a call for intimate partner violence involving a gun, Megan Colicchio was named Toronto Police Communications Operator of the Year.
Colicchio received the honor from Acting Staff Superintendent Shannon Dawson and Toronto Police Chief Myron Demkiw.
During a complex series of calls that required a high level of skill, focus, and teamwork, the eight-year veteran, according to him, did an outstanding job.
“Many individuals call us for help every year since they realize you will reply,” said Demkiw. ” You are unaware of the circumstance that awaits you on the other end of that call when you answer it. When helping those in need, it’s critical to make quick, accurate, and important decisions in stressful circumstances. In August 2022, Megan received a call to dispatch to an event involving intimate partner violence. She probably did not anticipate that the call would result in the arrest of two suspects and the recovery of two firearms. She made certain that the crucial information was not only conveyed, but also organized.
Colicchio, according to Chief Demkiw, was just one of many people who keep the city safe, he said.
“You, Megan, are the reason why Toronto ranks among the world’s best cities. Your undaunted obligation to collaboration assists with building entrust and reinforce our associations with the networks we serve and it sets a brilliant illustration for each individual from the Toronto Police Administration.”
Communications operators are a crucial link between citizens who require immediate assistance and personnel responding to calls for service from the police, fire, and medical departments. They must learn how to ask pertinent questions, provide sound advice, and process calls regarding a variety of crimes and incidents before they can answer 9-1-1 calls. After that, dispatchers make certain that police officers have all of the information they require to protect everyone.
That’s exactly what Colicchio did on August 12, 2022, when a call came in after 11 p.m. A woman reported that her boyfriend, who had allegedly assaulted her a few days earlier, was out on bail and might be at her apartment. She had called 9-1-1.
43 Division units were sent out by Colicchio, who found the victim, who had been harmed once more, and informed them that the man was not alone. The dispatched Police Dog Services assisted in establishing a perimeter that yielded a gun but did not locate the suspects.
A couple of hours after the fact, Durham Provincial Police Administration (DRPS) called to prompted they had answered a location in the space where a similar casualty was found – this opportunity the alienated beau was claimed to have been requesting a canine while wielding a firearm.
Colicchio communicated the updates and reconnected with different Toronto police units in look for the man.
As the episode developed, officials mentioned Colicchio liaise with DRPS to get additional data and the DRPS helicopter was doled out to the call, detecting the vehicle heading once more into Toronto.
Colicchio contacted the Peel Regional Police Service as the suspect vehicle entered Peel Region. The vehicle was boxed in by vehicles from Toronto Police’s 43 Division, but the suspect made contact with scout cars and then fled. The vehicle was once again observed by the helicopter as it sped eastbound toward Etobicoke.
Colicchio made sure that 22 and 11 Divisions were informed as the suspect vehicle returned to Toronto.
The pilot of the helicopter informed the police at 3:56 a.m. that one of the suspects had taken something from the trunk of the car and was walking southbound from Bloor Street.
Colicchio stayed aware of the updates and reminded units that the suspect could have a gun.
The helicopter continued to provide updates as units from the 43, 22, and 11 Divisions established a perimeter.
At 4:09, Police Canine Administrations educated that one with respect to the suspects was in guardianship. The other suspect was apprehended six minutes later. In the console of the stolen vehicle, a second firearm was found.
Interchanges Administrations Supervisor Kerry-Anne Murray-Bates adulated Colicchio for expertly controlling the air during the difficult and dynamic occasion for a drawn out time allotment.
Murray-Bates stated, “Megan was engaged and focused from beginning to end.” She responded to the requirements of the units and accurately updated the CAD entries. She demonstrated a high level of multitasking, was responsive to all band officers and agencies, and communicated with her supervisors to ensure that officer and public safety were always maintained.
Colicchio stated that although her work can be challenging and stressful, it is rewarding to be a member of a team that works together to ensure the safety of others.
However, she stated, “I started this job to help people because that is what I like to do.” It simply is not up to me to win this award. My entire platoon, in my opinion, also deserves it. We go to work consistently ensuring everybody is protected.”
Colicchio’s father, Staff Sergeant Richard Hemingway, who retired from Toronto Police in 2010 after 38 years of service, prompted her to consider a career in law enforcement.