Salute the Badge: Jaclyn Mattia

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Jackie Mattia started her career as a Communications Specialist right out of high school.

"It just fit. I was just always good at it. I like the adrenaline and the rush of the calls that we get," she said.

Mattia moved to Shawnee County three years ago and has played a major role in keeping the community and officers safe.

One call from 2018 particularly stands out in her mind. She said, "We had an officer in danger and I didn't have any tones, I didn't have a channel marker, I wasn't able to talk on multiple radios at one time."

Without all the equipment dispatchers usually have at their disposal, Mattia was able to get the information out quickly, possibly saving two officer's lives.

Shawnee County Communications Director Melanie Bergers said, "It's nothing short of amazing what she can do."

She said Mattia's ability to remain calm has proven to be an asset.

Sheriff Brian Hill said their job is crucial to the county. "The men and women that are sitting back there are dealing with stressful situations," he said.

"We stay calm, we can get the information we need to get them the help that they need," said Mattia.

Sometimes that even means talking someone off a ledge.

Mattia said, "She was standing on the edge of a bridge and I was able to connect with her with family and children and talk to her, and eventually she did walk off that bridge and meet with the police officers who did end up getting her some help."

Her passion for her job shines through and has also landed Mattia a leadership role.

"We want people to follow the standards that she sets and we want people to become the kind of dispatcher that she is," said Bergers.

Sheriff Hill added, "She is an extremely valuable asset to us here and law enforcement in general."

If you were to ask Mattia though, she would say she's just doing her job.

"We save lives daily. We're all good at what we do here. Being part of this team, is amazing," she said.

Mattia alone took 8,000 calls in 2019. She also received the Sheriff's Office Bronze Award and Communication Division Employee of Excellence Award in 2018.