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Carson high student is first sheriff’s cadet in over 30 years to join 911 dispatch

At just 16, Trinity McLaren is foraging a career in public safety communications.
Published: Mar. 30, 2022 at 4:51 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - After watching a show called 911, Trinity McLaren decided to combine her love of helping others with her desire to work in emergency services.

“When people are in their lowest moments, 911 dispatchers are right there just to help and give them anything they need,” McLaren said.

As a junior, she approached the Carson City Sheriff and joined the cadet program. McLaren is the first cadet in 32 years to join the public safety communications division.

“911 dispatching has evolved so much in three decades that we wouldn’t have been able to work off of that, so we’ve been working on it as we go with her,” said Carson City dispatch manager Jenn Stoffer.

McLaren started last fall, giving up her Friday nights to train with dispatcher Cameron Sievers.

She recently completed her Nevada State Peace Officers Standards and Training certification for dispatchers.

“People might think it’s boring and that I’m wasting my Friday night but it’s a completely different story for me,” McLaren said.

Even though McLaren loves the job, it can be intense and overwhelming.

“The most important thing we gave Trinity right out of the gate is that you’re going to be hearing some tough things,” Stoffer explained.

“We take very serious calls in here, traumatic life events that happen on a moment’s notice, and we wanted to make sure that she was prepared for real life experiences that she would be hearing.”

“I can feel their emotions. I can feel how they’re feeling. You just need to stay clam and focus on the task at hand,” McLaren said.

During her time training, McLaren has learned how to classify calls, the basics of radio traffic and what kinds of questions to ask callers.

While she does not take 911 calls on her own during in training, McLaren plans to keep working in the dispatch division and wants to pursue a full time career after graduation next year.

“Being so young and just so driven and focused on what she wants to attain. That’s wonderful and if I could find 100 people with that same dedication and attitude I’d take it,” Stoffer said.

“If you work where you love, it’s like you never work a day at all.”

McLaren also encouraged other students interested in the cadet program to get involved.

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