By Brenda L. Holmes
PLAINFIELD — 911 operators from across the country celebrated National Telecommunicators Week — and the staff in Hendricks County were no different. Operators from the Hendricks County Communications Center (HCCC) celebrated this week with special activities and a dinner where Brownsburg’s Debbie Umbanhowar was named Telecommunicator of the Year.
The honor was voted on by her peers — which meant a lot to Umbanhowar.
“It’s great to be honored,” she said. “And it’s nice to know that my co-workers think I do a good job.”
Umbanhowar has been with the communications center since it opened. She began her career as a telecommunicator with the Brownsburg Police Department in 2004.
“I worked in radio communications and worked with a lot of the area police departments as a vendor,” she said. “My brother is a reserve officer. I grew up in a house where we could always hear a scanner.”
She is on the “A shift” and is an assistant supervisor under Pam Porter.
“This is not unexpected,” Porter said. “I think Debbie was the obvious choice. She always does a good job and has the patience of Job.”
Porter said the staff can always look to Umbanhowar as a calming force when things get tense.
“She’s always calm, even if the walls are falling down around her,” Porter said. “She’s very good in a crisis.”
Steve Cook, executive director for the HCCC, said Umbanhowar serves as the IDACS (Indiana Data and Communication System) administrator. IDACS is a computerized law enforcement/criminal justice communications and information storage and retrieval system. This system is designed to serve as a tool in providing more effective and efficient law enforcement for both the citizens of Indiana and through interfacing with the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) computer, and the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (NLETS) computer.
“She’s also been an assistant supervisor for about five years now,” Cook said. “She does a good job.”