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Goodbye midnights: Dispatcher retires after 30 years of service

April 3, 2012

Wapakoneta Fire Chief Kendall Krites gives Wapakoneta Police Department dispatcher Vicki Harrison a hug at her retirement party on Monday. Harrison retired after 30 years of service to the community.

A dispatcher at the Wapakoneta Police Department says she got into the law enforcement field of work because of the inspiration of her father and the ability to help others in her community.

Vicki Harrison, a dispatcher at the Wapakoneta Police Department, is retiring this week after 30 years.

“I always had an interest in this,” Harrison said of why she decided to go into the law enforcement career. “My father (Roger Shoffstall) is my true inspiration. He was a volunteer firefighter and volunteer policeman for Buckland.”

The 1978 Wapakoneta High School graduate started as an auxiliary officer in 1981, and became a full-time officer on Oct. 10, 1983.

She married her late husband, David, in June 1986, and shortly after that she was transferred to a dispatcher that same year. David Harrison was a member of the police force and was named police chief in 1988.

When asked what her plans were after retirement, she said, “Whatever I want.

“I love to garden,” she said. “It will get my full attention this year.”

She said that she will miss her job, especially her daily contact with the people she worked with on the midnight shift.

“We had a great staff,” Harrison said. “It’s a really great shift. I’ll miss them all.”

Her favorite part of her job was helping people on a daily basis.

“I’m totally about helping people,” Harrison said. “It’s why I went into this. I like serving the community and serving others.

“You just have to take it case by case,” she said. “If I somehow was able to help someone, it was all worth it.”

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