Dispatcher names emotional support dog after slain Sacramento officer
SACRAMENTO, CA — The dispatcher who was on duty the night a Sacramento police officer was killed has adopted an emotional support dog brought in after the incident, and named him after the slain officer.
According to a social media post from the Sacramento Police Department, the dispatcher did not need to be at work the day rookie officer Tara O’Sullivan was shot and lay wounded for 45 minutes while on call to a domestic dispute.
The dispatcher came in to cover a sick colleague, despite having the day off on Wednesday. At around 5:41 p.m. that day, Officer O’Sullivan, 26, was called to a residence to help a woman collect her things and leave her home. She was shot by a man at the residence who then barricaded himself in the home and continued to fire sporadically, preventing officers from reaching O’Sullivan while she lay wounded in the yard.
She was eventually rescued by an armored vehicle that reached her amid the gunfire, but later passed away in the hospital.
The department praised the dispatcher for remaining calm on the radio channel throughout the incident.
“He is a seasoned dispatcher, the best of the best, and hearing those two words, officer down, is every dispatchers worst nightmare. We think all the dispatchers out there would agree. He handled the channel, under extreme conditions, and maintained the calm, saying we are proud of him does not do him justice,” wrote the Sacramento Police Department in its post.
The department says that in the wake of such incidents, a local animal shelter brings in shelter dogs to provide therapeutic comfort to the dispatchers.
The dispatcher who was on call that night choose to adopt one of the dogs, and decided to name it after O’Sullivan — or Sully for short.
“We like to think they rescued each other,” wrote the department.