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Virginia Sheriffs’ Association
The Voice of Virginia’s Sheriffs & Deputies

For the month of October, we are excited to introduce you to the Dispatcher of the Year. Marcella Keene, Dispatcher with the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office, was recently awarded the 2020 Dispatcher of the Year Award. Prior to her position as Dispatcher, Keene worked in dispatch at another police agency for almost 11 years. She also worked within the Tazewell County Public Schools system.

Keene most admires the character traits of honesty and respect. When asked what superpower she would like to possess, Keene said, “I would want the power to heal. I love the opportunity to help others and having healing powers would enable me to do that further.

Get to Know the Dispatcher of the Year – Tazewell County Dispatcher Marcella Keene 

Tazewell County Dispatcher Marcella Keene 
Tazewell County Dispatcher Marcella Keene


1. How has COVID-19 impacted you, your office, your work? Covid 19 has affected everyone.
My coworkers and I have to take the necessary precautions to make sure we stay healthy. Checking temperatures, wearing masks, and social distancing are just a few daily precautions we have implemented. We are the front line and, without us, disaster could occur.  

2. How have you adapted your work to continue to serve your community?
I have simply followed recommendations set forth by the government
through CDC guidelines. I have taken safety very seriously personally, and I have tried to enforce safety as well.

3.   In light of the social unrest across Virginia and the nation, how can the sheriff’s office and law enforcement as a whole work to build trust among their communities?
Trust can be build through community policing. Getting out and hav
e in-person contact with the community can show people that we are there to help when they need it. It is all about building trust within our community.

4.   To what do you look forward to most about your job?
I look forward to getting to help people, and the sense of accomplishment that comes with that.

5.   Who have been mentors and/or role models in your life/career?
I haven’t had a role model; I have just wanted to do my best and be my best for the people I care most about.

6.   What do you enjoy doing in your time away from work?
I love spending time with my
two grandbabies and my kids.

7.   What are some of your favorite songs on your music playlist?
I love anything by Blake Shelton and George Strait.

8.   What is your favorite book?
My favorite books are the King James Version Bible book of Proverbs and The Lost City of Z by David Grann.

9.   What sports/teams do you root for?
I root for the Atlanta Braves
 in baseball and the Philadelphia Eagles in football. I also like to support any local high school teams.

10.   What drew you to law enforcement?
I love helping people as a public servant. Working in law enforcement adds to my abilities to do so.

11.   What did you do before working as a Dispatcher with the sheriff’s office?
I have worked
 here in the Tazewell County Public Schools system since 1997. I also worked in dispatch at another Police agency for almost 11 years before this.

12.   If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
I would want the power to heal. I love the opportunity to help others; having healing powers would enable me to do that further.

13.   If you could visit any place in the world, where would it be?
I would choose to travel to Italy. It appears to be beautiful and its culture very rich.

14.   What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of my 
three children, all of whom are adults now, and their accomplishments.

15.   What’s your favorite movie genre?
I enjoy watching dramas.

16.   What character trait do you most admire in others?
I most admire respect and honesty