Police Service Representative, LAPD
When Angelenos dial 911 with an emergency – or even a barking dog or illegal parking complaint – it’s dispatchers like Local 3090 member Sharon Dormitorio on the line ready to help.
During each eight-hour shift, Dormitorio fields over 100 calls, dispatching the appropriate response units and calming callers down. With 15 years under her belt as a Police Service Representative (PSR), Dormitorio has seen it all, even the worst.
“Sometimes it’s a matter of life and death,” she said. “Every second counts.”
With such a high call volume, Dormitorio said the biggest challenge she and other dispatchers face each day on the job is providing prompt service. It’s a heavy workload, but at the end of each day, though exhausted, she gets a rush out of getting a caller the help they need.
“I’m able to draw satisfaction from knowing that I help people, often on their roughest days,” she said. “It’s a good feeling. I feel like I’m making a difference in the city of Los Angeles and in this world.”
A year ago, Dormitorio figured it was time to start making a difference in her union. She began upping her union activity and attending meetings regularly.
“As I’m looking towards retirement, I decided I should really care about my union, learn more about the grievance process, what my dues go towards and educate myself,” she said. “It’s high time that I give a damn.”
The result is a new appreciation for her Local and a desire to spread the word.
“The union is like an angel, there to protect my interests,” she said. “I’ve been with the union long enough that I should be there at meetings learning and giving back. I want to be there as a new voice with newer hires.”
If she’s not in the office, you can find Dormitorio on the water. An avid canoe paddler, she competes regularly around the world in places like Hawaii, Australia, New York and all along the California coast.
“It’s just me, the crew, the canoe and the ocean,” she said. “Back to basics, commune with nature, clear the mind.”