Tina Brazil, CSLEA Foundation Secretary
President - California Highway Patrol Public Safety Dispatchers Association (CHP-PSDA)
The dispatchers of the California Highway Patrol are the first to answer almost all of the state’s 911 calls from cell phones. At more than nine million calls a year and rising, Tina Brazil has a mountain to climb in her goals to make CHP dispatchers want to stay with the state and to educate the public on how vitally important these front-line workers are to their lives.
One of her goals is the continuing education of dispatchers in order to keep them at the top of their field. Brazil believes CHP dispatchers should be POST certified (Peace Officer Standards Training), because with cell-phone usage increasingly replacing traditional home phones, dispatchers are now receiving calls that are normally answered by police and sheriff departments. Another of Brazil’s goals is to educate the public on the everyday life-saving work dispatchers perform and on the information that is needed when calling 911.
"There are some advantages to being a CHP dispatcher," says Brazil, "such as mobility within the state and upward advancement, but they don’t counterbalance some of the other problems, which I believe that my very motivated association can help with—together with willing administrators."
Brazil has been a dispatcher for 22 years, 14 of them with the Merced CHP Communications Center. Her experience in emergency services and dispatching includes time as an emergency medical technician (EMT) and emergency medical dispatcher with Turlock Ambulance. She later went to work for the Livingston Police Department (Merced County) as a public safety dispatcher, where she also was its first-responder instructor, teaching officers and staff in CPR and other first-aid techniques.
She was born in Modesto and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada and later in Turlock, California, where she graduated from Turlock High School. Brazil comes from a rodeo family and background. She makes her home in Turlock with her husband and three children.