A familiar voice will no longer be heard over State Police airwaves. Through the years, many local police agencies, scanner-listening hobbyists and a number of troopers came to recognize the familiar tone and style of this longtime radio operator. His style was professional, timely, direct and at times urgent.

Joe Shackelford, dispatcher for the Indiana State Police post at Terre Haute, has decided to retire after nearly 30 years of service. He began his career with the Indiana State Police in October 1979 as a radio operator at the local post and continued in that capacity during his entire tenure. During his years of service, Shackelford has been the recipient of several special awards, including the “Governor’s Life Saving Award” and two “Dispatcher of the Year” awards from the Vigo County E-911 office.

Shackelford has served as an Indiana Law Enforcement Academy primary instructor and an APSCO (Association of Public Safety Communications Officials) training officer. He also holds many certifications in the communications field. During the implementation of the Vigo County E-911 system, Shackelford was responsible for training 115 personnel so the system could begin live operations.

Among his notable career events, Shackelford worked as a dispatcher assigned to the 1987 Pan American Games, and many years at the Indianapolis 500 and U.S. National Drags. In 1995, Shackelford was assigned, along with several hundred Indiana State Police troopers, to augment the Gary Police Department in their efforts to quell violence within the city.

“Joe Shackelford has been one of our most dedicated and professional dispatchers. The troopers and citizens he served were dear to his heart and we wish him the best in his retirement,” said Lori Effner, telecommunications supervisor for the Terre Haute District.

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