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Lee County Communications Dispatcher Selected as the Florida Sheriffs Association 2023 Dispatcher of the Year

The Florida Sheriffs Association is pleased to announce that Communications Dispatcher Lexus McClellan of Lee County Sheriff’s Office has been selected as the 2023 Dispatcher of the Year. Each year, this award is presented at the FSA Winter Conference to a telecommunicator who has demonstrated exceptional service in the line of duty. The award is sponsored by L3Harris Technologies. 

Communications Dispatcher Lexus McClellan began her career with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office in 2018. Possessing an exceptional work ethic and aptitude, McClellan quickly advanced through training as a 911 call taker, and soon afterwards as a dispatcher. In addition to her exceptional abilities in these roles, McClellan endeavored to complete the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) Trainer Certification course and, to date, has conducted more than 800 hours of training for new call takers and dispatchers.

The past year has been eventful for the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Communications Division, with many challenges. In the first quarter of 2022, McClellan trained with fellow telecommunicators to learn and teach procedures related to four major upgraded systems in the Communications Center. During the migration to the new systems in the second quarter, McClellan was consistently composed, professional, and assisted others to ensure mission critical processes were maintained.

During the third quarter, McClellan was instrumental in assisting with, as well as completing, active shooter response training in our local schools. While in the training, McClellan held the position of Tactical Dispatcher, providing first responders with vital intelligence. This training proved invaluable as McClellan was dispatching on two separate dates when a call taker received a report of an active shooter at a local school. The first incident, occurring on September 15, was reported when system functionality was crippled due to technical difficulties outside the control of the sheriff’s office. McClellan immediately sprang into action, relying on her training and experience, to assist staff in providing first responders with pertinent information and annotating event details. Although the incident was deemed a hoax, McClellan’s actions were an example of professionalism under pressure.

The second occurrence happened on November 3, when the Lee County Sheriff’s Office received a request for assistance from the Cape Coral Police Department regarding an active threat/active assailant at a local high school. The report advised there were six victims suffering from gunshot wounds. The team member assigned to the channel appeared distraught and conveyed that their child was attending the same school. McClellan immediately recognized the need to have the team member relieved, facilitated coverage for her assignment, and began assisting with the incident as the primary dispatcher. The ability and adaptability McClellan displayed during the incident was extraordinary. McClellan maintained her composure throughout the incident.

Almost two weeks following the first hoax shooting incident, Lee County was in the bullseye of what is considered one of the strongest storms to ever strike in U.S. History. As Hurricane Ian approached the coast of Lee County, McClellan was part of the telecommunications team activated and deployed to an off-site emergency dispatch center farther inland in Lee County. McClellan worked tirelessly alongside her fellow team members, answering many calls, and aiding her peers and the distraught citizens calling 911. Approximately eight hours after the storm struck, McClellan began the tremendous task of evaluating the entered calls for service, to ensure the priority levels were consistent with the direction given by the Incident Management Team. Of these calls, McClellan researched approximately 2,000 well-being checks and was instrumental in developing an organized approach to complete the mission. During the post-storm weeks, McClellan remained a positive influence and continued to volunteer for several additional shifts, making sure there was adequate coverage.

“Dispatcher McClellan displays a keen understanding of the connection between shift coverage and stress levels and how this affects her fellow team members,” said Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno. “Dispatcher McClellan demonstrates the qualities of professionalism and dedication. She is an outstanding telecommunicator and trainer whose goal is to become a supervisor and continue her career in this field. The entire Lee County Sheriff’s Office is proud to join the Florida Sheriffs Association in recognizing Dispatcher Lexus McClellan for her outstanding service.”

The Florida Sheriffs Association Dispatcher of the Year Award is proudly sponsored by L3Harris Technologies. View the official award video here: https://youtu.be/K3B5dCyKh7E.

 

From left to right: Hernando County Sheriff and FSA President Al Nienhuis, Lexus McClellan, L3Harris Technologies Account Manager Keith Gaston, Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis

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About Florida Sheriffs Association
The Florida Sheriffs Association is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 corporation made up of the Sheriffs of Florida, approximately 3,000 business leaders and 100,000 citizens throughout the state. Founded in 1893, FSA has steadfastly served the citizens of Florida by supporting the needs of the state's law enforcement community. Through the Florida Sheriffs Association, Sheriffs are given a forum to address lawmakers to push for positive changes in Florida’s public safety arena. FSA also provides Sheriffs' Offices much-needed programs such as affordable training, special task forces and legislative and legal services. Dedicated to the prevention of juvenile delinquency and the development of lawful, productive citizens, FSA has established and funded the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches with facilities throughout the state to help restore hope, fulfill dreams, and prepare boys and girls for the future. It has grown to be one of the largest and most successful state law enforcement associations in the nation. For more information on the Florida Sheriffs Association, visit www.dev.flsheriffs.org.

  

About L3Harris Technologies
L3Harris Technologies is a Trusted Disruptor for the global aerospace and defense industry. With customers’ mission-critical needs always in mind, our 46,000 employees deliver end-to-end technology solutions connecting the space, air, land, sea and cyber domains.