Being a communicator means you get to help people in their darkest moments.
Kathlin Tinkler knew this when she signed on with Toronto Police, seven years ago, to fill this role.
With six commendations under her belt, Tinkler was honoured with the Service’s Communicator of the Year Award at police headquarters on April 14.
“People don’t normally call you because they are having a good day,” she pointed out. “I am humbled by this award. It’s an honour to be part of this organization and I take great pride in helping someone when they are at their lowest point and in need of urgent help.”
Tinkler was inspired to join the Service by her father, John Tinkler, who retired in March 2009 as a Detective Sergeant after 38 years on the job.
“I always wanted to get into policing and this opportunity came up,” she added. “I was in the customer service field, working emergency services for a car company, so I figured the transition wouldn’t be that difficult.”
Dion Evelyn, Communications Services unit commander, said Tinker is a phenomenal employee.
“No one is more deserving of this honour than she is,” he said.
Chief Bill Blair made the presentation to Tinkler.
“We have 231 communications operators who took almost 1.9 million calls for service last year,” he pointed out. “Of that total, about one million were 9-1-1 emergency calls. When people call 9-1-1, they are in crisis and having their worst day and they need to communicate with someone on the other end of the line who is calm and professional with a reassuring voice.”
Blair also presented the Junior Communicator of the Year Award to eight-year-old Gelila Aedmsu, who call 9-1-1 last August when she woke up to find her mother lying on the floor and unresponsive.
Communicator Michelle Everest was on the other end of the line that day.
“She was crying and really upset,” recalled Everest. “I saw it was a cell phone and I tried to calm her down and talk to her on her level to get the information I needed. She was very clear and answered every question.”
Everest and other communication operators presented Aedmsu with two tickets to see One Direction when they perform in Toronto in August.