Utica says goodbye to longtime dispatcher

By: Sarah Wojcik | Shelby - Utica News | Published December 27, 2017

 Utica Police Chief Sean Coady hugs Maureen Niedieck, a longtime dispatcher who recently retired after 25 years, with her retirement badge during the Dec. 12 City Council meeting at Utica City Hall.

Utica Police Chief Sean Coady hugs Maureen Niedieck, a longtime dispatcher who recently retired after 25 years, with her retirement badge during the Dec. 12 City Council meeting at Utica City Hall.

Photo by Sarah Wojcik

UTICA — At the Dec. 12 Utica City Council meeting, Police Chief Sean Coady presented a longtime police, fire and Department of Public Works dispatcher with her retirement badge.

Maureen Niedieck retired after 25 years with the city, and friends, family members and colleagues filled the council chambers.

“This is a rare occasion today that we celebrate, in that less than 10 percent of the people hired into a dispatch center ever complete the 25-year career, so this is a very special day,” Coady said. “Maureen came to our city from the Fraser Police Department from their dispatch center in 1992.”

After that, he said, Niedieck immersed herself in the operations of the Utica police dispatch center.

“Maureen was a self-motivated employee who took on the responsibilities of our Law Enforcement Information Network and, in that position, she was a trainer, an auditor and a keeper of records.”

She was also selected to be a records clerk for the Police Department and organized and archived all of the records to be kept in the department’s off-site storage facility.

“Throughout the years, she’s played a part in the training of all the current employees who have been hired in the dispatch center,” Coady said. “Maureen took a personal interest in the residents and the public that she had contact with, either in person as they conducted business here in City Hall, or the people that she had contact with on the phone.”

Niedieck directed resources during the city’s busiest events — vehicle rollovers, floods, fires, police pursuits and city events, he said.

Coady presented Niedieck with her retirement badge, engraved with her employee number.

“I’d like to thank you for all the support and assistance you’ve given me through the years, and I’d like to wish you all the best in the new chapter of your life,” he said.

Niedieck accepted the badge and a hug from Coady with tears in her eyes.

“I really appreciate it. I really love my job here, and I do truly miss it,” she said. “I like being retired, but I really do miss the job. I miss the people.”

Utica Mayor Thom Dionne presented Niedieck with an official resolution from the city acknowledging her service and thanking her on behalf of the city and its residents.

“It takes a special person to work the 911 shift at the dispatch center,” he said. “When you call 911, this is the voice you want to hear. Dispatchers need to be able to tell people where to go, what to do and how to do it, because there’s someone on the other end of the line that’s having their worst day, and you need to be at your very best.”

He praised Niedieck’s “great” personality, calling her “very funny” and “sweet” with a “tough exterior.”

“Maureen worked the dispatch desk under five different police chiefs and their individual ways of handling the department,” Dionne said. “We wish Maureen and her husband, Rick, a long and happy retirement.”