Suffolk honors 911 operators for grace under pressure

Posted: Updated:
YAPHANK -

Three Suffolk County 911 operators were honored Friday for the grace under pressure.

Nancy Hawkins, an emergency complaint operator for Suffolk police, along with dispatchers Cindy Dickinson and Nancy Cebollero were recognized as part of National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.

Hawkins answered a 911 call from a Lake Ronkonkoma IHOP employee in March when police say an alleged Bloods gang member opened fire in the crowded restaurant at lunchtime.

Police say they get nearly 1 million calls a year at the Suffolk police headquarters call center. The emergency complaint operator takes the call, gets information from the caller and then gives it to the dispatcher who coordinates with police officers.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone calls the three honorees unsung heroes "who play a crucial role."

The other two women were honored for dispatching police in Bay Shore for shots fired - an event that ended with multiple arrests - and for dispatching officers who stopped a suicidal man from harming himself.

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