“She’s our gold standard,” remarked Scotts Bluff County Communication Director Ray Richards.
She happens to be longtime Scotts Bluff County Dispatcher Gay Warren, who celebrated her retirement this week after serving the area for more than 40 years.
Richards says Warren started her career around 1974 working for then-Sheriff Dave Schleve. He says Scottsbluff Police Officer Frank Akers walked Warren into the Sheriff’s Office and told Schleve that he needed to hire her as a dispatcher.
Warren worked for the Sheriff’s Department for several years, took a few years off, and then came back to work for the county in 1987 when Judd Reed was hired as the new Director for the new consolidated Communication Center.
“Gay Warren was excellent,” said Richards. “She was kind of our gold standard for a number of years. She’s trained easily a couple hundred of people over these 40 years helping them become excellent dispatchers.”
Richards says Warren was one of the key players to help people make the transition from calling an agency directly to calling 911. He says even though that three-digit number was created in 1968, people couldn’t call 911 locally until the mid 1980’s.
He says that her role as a dispatcher also greatly evolved over the decades.
“She took care of primarily the deputies that were on the road and then a couple of the smaller towns like Mitchell, Minatare and Morrill,” explained Richards. “Today, when Gay would be on duty, she would be taking care of 64 agencies because the consolidated center takes everybody.
During her retirement celebration on Friday, roughly 50 people who worked closest with her over the years were invited. Attendees included Schleve, Akers, retired Scottsbluff Police Lt. Terry Hall, Board Chair Ken Meyer, Sheriff Mark Overman, Scottsbluff Police Chief Kevin Spencer, and Gering Police Chief George Holtus- who was trained as a dispatcher by Warren many moons ago.
Richards also shared a story with us that he feels truly characterized the outstanding person that Gay Warren is:
Richards said that Gay Warren is truly a diamond in the rough.