July 2015 - Dispatch Shift Leader Karen Patterson
Dispatch Shift Leader Karen Patterson
The Novi Public Safety Administration wishes to extend their appreciation and congratulations to Dispatch Shift Leader Karen Patterson on her nomination and selection as the Novi Public Safety Employee of the Month, July 2015. Dispatch Shift Leader Patterson was nominated and unanimously selected by the Implementation Committee for her ability to maintain her composure and establish a verbal relationship with a despondent and suicidal subject.
Dispatch Shift Leader Karen Patterson was nominated by Assistant Chief Jerrod Hart for the professionalism and determination she embodied during an emergency call with a suicidal person. On July 29th, Dispatch Shift Leader Patterson answered a 911 call from a 74 year old male who immediately shared with her his intent to end his life. The caller stated that he had a .38 caliber handgun and was “going to blow his head off.” The seriousness of the call was further confirmed when he told her that he had left his front door unlocked for the medical examiner to determine cause of death. Dispatch Shift Leader Patterson instantly put her skills and training into action and engaged the suicidal caller in purposeful, heartfelt conversation for nearly an hour and a half. Karen successfully created a connection with the man and seamlessly maneuvered him into discussing happier times in his life. Within minutes of understanding his plight, she encouraged him to open up about his family and sincerely reminded him how much he loved them and what a tragedy it would be if he killed himself.
After the man abruptly hung up the phone, ending the conversation, Dispatch Shift Leader Patterson didn’t waste any time calling him back. Fortunately, he answered the phone; the man shared that she had talked him out of killing himself and that he had put the loaded gun in a drawer. Karen then convinced the disabled caller to get into his wheel chair and exit his home. He was ultimately transported to a local hospital for a mental health evaluation.
Dispatch Shift Leader Karen Patterson’s quick thinking, communication skills, and above all her empathic disposition, saved this man’s life. As a direct result of her persuasive conversation, the suicidal male was convinced to seek professional assistance and two additional handguns were recovered from the home. Because of her efforts it is with great pride that we join the other members of the Novi Public Safety Team, and the Novi Community in recognizing Dispatch Shift Leader Karen Patterson’s outstanding work.
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