AP NEWS

Single mom named LCSO employee of the month

April 16, 2019

When Toniette Brown moved to Texas two years ago, she never thought that she would be receiving any honors in her new community, but she was nominated and named the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office Employee of the Month by command staff at their monthly personnel meeting.

Brown was nominated by a colleague who said the night shift dispatcher possessed the hard-working skills, ethics and willingness to assist the public and anyone within the agency on any matter that might come her way.

Brown moved to Texas from Birmingham, Alabama and was hired to work in March of 2016. She is no stranger to the judicial system having worked for an organization called Gateway, a non-profit organization dealing with children who find themselves in foster homes after some court action had placed them there. Being exposed to what the legal system does after court rulings is what drew Brown to law enforcement in order to see what takes place before cases find their way into the court system.

This, along with a strong desire to be involved in a profession that requires a great deal of multi-tasking, could not have landed Brown in a more perfect setting than being a dispatcher,” said Chief Deputy Don Neyland.

“It is not uncommon to see the LCSO dispatchers with a telephone up to both ears while talking to a deputy on the radio and running some type of record check on the computer all at the same time,” he said.

All this going on constantly for a 12-hour shift can have a tendency to drain the resolve of most people. When the flow of information that goes into and out of the dispatchers’ office is compared with a ten-year span from 2008 when the agency handled 15,361 calls for service to 2018 where that office handled an increased total to 44,931 calls for service, the personality and ability to function under such a work load speaks for itself.

Yet, Toniette Brown has maintained a ready smile and what one would describe as a “sunny personality” which is one of her most obvious attributes when dealing with fellow co-workers or the public, the chief said.

Has she ever had second thoughts about becoming a dispatcher?

Perhaps, when she first started as a rookie dispatcher. An off-duty deputy attempted to assist the victim of an overturned vehicle when the driver, for no apparent reason, attack the deputy. The wife of the deputy called the dispatcher for an “assist the officer” response and the ensuing radio traffic became congested. Brown said, “This freaked me out and made me wonder if this job was for me but also made me realize if I was going to do this job, I would have to get better.”

A single mom with a daughter in Liberty High School nearing graduation leaves little time for hobbies but her college background is quite impressive. Brown holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology from the University of Nebraska as well as a graduate certificate in geographical information from the Jacksonville campus of Alabama State University. Presently she is working towards a degree in public administration with a minor in environmental science. Her desire to advance her dispatcher classification to the Master level is certainly not unrealistic with her background in education.

It is with appreciation and deep respect that LCSO personnel ask the public to join them in thanking this hard working dispatcher and to extend a hearty congratulation to Toniette Brown for being selected as the Employee of the Month for April 2019.

dtaylor@hcnonline.com