How Young Boston Dispatcher Makes Order Of Police Chaos


Brenda Ortiz, 29, does not look like someone who routinely orders around dozens of Boston’s city’s most hardened gang and drug investigators. But that’s exactly what she does, says the Boston Globe. When Boston’s streets erupted Tuesday with two fatal shootings within a half hour, Ortiz’s deep, no-nonsense voice cut through a chaotic chatter of dozens of officers and blaring sirens, telling officers to quiet down so she could hear the pursuit, tell the patrolman chasing the armed gunman that help was on the way, and broadcast a description of the car. “You guys just head in there,” she snipped, talking over the officers. “Clear the air traffic. Where do we have that white vehicle pulled over?”

During her 4 p.m. to midnight shift Tuesday, Ortiz also handled a call for a lockdown at the city’s busiest hospital after a fight there led to a false report of shots fired and another for the arrest of several juveniles, one of whom pointed a gun at officers. Ortiz’s boss, Deputy Superintendent Kenneth Fong, said the role of the dispatcher is critical. “The dispatcher is the lifeline to the cops out there,” he said. “They could have a whole bunch of guys stopped in an alley there by themselves. It’s 3 o’clock in the morning. The dispatcher’s all they have.”


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