Carson High student becomes sheriff’s dispatch cadet

Standing left to right: retired Capt. Brian Humphrey, dispatcher Cameron Sievers, Cadet Trinity McLaren, and Sheriff Ken Furlong.

Standing left to right: retired Capt. Brian Humphrey, dispatcher Cameron Sievers, Cadet Trinity McLaren, and Sheriff Ken Furlong.

While Carson High School junior Trinity McLaren’s friends are spending their Friday nights hanging out, she’s at the Carson City Sheriff’s Office listening to dispatch calls, learning how to help others in their vulnerable moments.
“I just sit there and listen, and sometimes I go grab a warrant,” she said.
McLaren is the first cadet to be assigned to the Carson City Sheriff’s Office’s Public Safety Communications Division in 32 years. She obtained her Nevada State Peace Officers Standard and Training certification for dispatchers and has worked Friday evenings under the direction of dispatcher Cameron Sievers.
McLaren said she was inspired to get involved after watching the television show “9-1-1” with her mother.
“I used to think it was really cool how when people, in their lowest moments, 911 dispatchers are right there just to help them get what they need,” she said. “So I went to talk to Sheriff (Ken Furlong), and it was supposed to be the start of my senior project. So we’re not doing it, so I’m doing it for a job.”
Furlong said he was proud of her, calling her “an icon” among students who have aspirations of going to college and succeeding in life. The sheriff’s office facilitates an academy for graduating seniors, but not realizing at the time McLaren was a junior, he said he could not understate her enthusiasm for wanting to get involved sooner.
“For a young gal, for a student as young as she and to be as determined as she, that’s a really positive reflection on our youth in our community,” Furlong said. “She stands out.”
McLaren said the experience has been insightful about learning the type of temperament necessary for handling the types of calls dispatchers take.
“I feel like sometimes when I’m listening, it’s like I can feel their emotions, feel how they’re feeling and just stay very calm and focus on the task at hand,” she said.
Furlong said the dispatch center can go from slow to taking on a demanding workload in seconds, and the staff must be able to prepared for it at any time.
“To understand how the routine calls, or what seems like a routine call, can be very intense for a dispatcher – because you’re dealing with people who are very emotional whether it’s via fire, police or ambulance, and the script is very solid,” he said. “You have to control yourself, and (McLaren) has just shown herself to be in a great amount of self-control in understanding those varying things.”
McLaren also expressed appreciation for the guidance and mentorship she received from the staff who helped her in the process.
“Everyone is so sweet and the way they handle the calls is so amazing to witness and to experience … and everyone is super supportive,” she said. “If they get a crazy call, there’s people you can talk to. There’s counselors, and I think it’s absolutely amazing.”
Furlong added it’s never too soon for students to begin considering their career options as McLaren has.
“As far as what Trinity is doing is a great example,” he said. “It’s a great celebration for us and for her. It doesn’t matter where she goes in life.”
For those who might be considering pursuing a POST certification in the Public Safety Communications Division, McLaren said it’s useful to have excellent typing skills, work well under stress and know how to multitask.
“Make sure you’re living up to the rules and expectations and living up to the guidelines,” she said.


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