Mary Newton recognized as emergency number professional

Mary Newton, communications supervisor with the Camp Verde Marshal’s Office, is now an Emergency Number Professional. VVN/Bill Helm

Mary Newton, communications supervisor with the Camp Verde Marshal’s Office, is now an Emergency Number Professional. VVN/Bill Helm

CAMP VERDE – Mary Newton, communications supervisor with the Camp Verde Marshal’s Office, is now an Emergency Number Professional.

Recognized by NENA – the National Emergency Number Association – Newton studied “off and on for about six months” for the test she recently passed.

A nationwide organization that improves 9-1-1 through advocacy, education, outreach, research, standards development and training, the National Emergency Number Association – also known as the 9-1-1 Association – has recognized about two dozen dispatchers statewide, Newton said.

“She’s a phenomenal employee,” Camp Verde Marshal Corey Rowley said of Newton. “People ought to know how blessed we are to have her.”

Now that Newton has achieved Emergency Number Professional, her next goal is to complete the Certified Public-Safety Executive Program – CPE – which she said is a “year-long process” of online courses and training.

For Newton, a dispatcher for the past 24 years, the recognition “means a lot to me.”

“This job is a passion of mine,” Newton said. “It’s not just 9-1-1. It’s human resources, how to manage people, it’s leadership.”

Before Newton started her career, she was a stay-at-home mom in Wickenburg.

“I kind of fell into the job,” she said.

After two years on the job, Newton and her family moved to the Verde Valley, where she took a job at Crusty’s pizza on Finnie Flat Road.

“One of the firefighters told me about an opening for a dispatcher,” Newton recalled. “That was in 1997. Once you’re in here, it gets into your blood.”

Newton said that being a dispatcher is job for someone with a meticulous nature, the ability to multi-task, and someone who doesn’t easily get overwhelmed.

For Newton, the job is ideal for her “because I have a big heart.”

“I love helping people and I love supervising the people I have here,” Newton said. “When people call 9-1-1, it’s their worst day.”

Through intergovernmental agreements, Camp Verde’s dispatchers also take calls for the Clarkdale, Jerome and Yavapai-Apache police departments.

Dave Freeman has been with the Camp Verde Marshal’s Office for the past 16 years. According to Dep. Freeman, “dispatchers are our lifeline.”

“You take care of your dispatcher,” Freeman said. “Because your dispatcher will take care of you.”

-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42

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