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Two County employees receive prestigious public safety awards

Walt Way, Director of our Emergency Management and Communications Department, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Kansas City Regional 9-1-1 System. Way received the award for his dedication and leadership in the field of public safety communications, and accepted it during the annual Telecommunicators Appreciation Celebration this past Friday night.

During his long career, Way has provided leadership in the fields of public safety and 9-1-1 operations for Johnson County, the Greater Kansas City region and the state of Kansas. He started working for the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office in 1973 and was promoted to captain of the operations bureau in 1986. In the early 1990s, Way’s guidance enabled the state of Kansas to provide a stable funding source for 9-1-1 services. In 2004, he retired from the Sheriff’s Office and become the Director of our Emergency Management and Communications department where he leads efforts to provide quality service to citizens in Johnson County.

Also on Friday night, Deputy Zachary Hodges from the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office received the Everyday Hero Award for his work ethic and professionalism.  Hodges serves as a training officer for the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office Communications Division.

The Mid-America Regional Council hosts the Telecommunicators Appreciation Celebration each April during National Public Safety Telecommunicators’ Week. The event honors the dedicated emergency communications personnel responsible for answering nearly 2 million 9-1-1 calls each year in the Greater Kansas City region, which includes Cass, Clay, Jackson, Platte and Ray counties in Missouri and Johnson, Leavenworth, Miami and Wyandotte counties in Kansas.