Michael G. Tsoukatos has decided to hang up his microphone for the last time on Saturday, April 23rd as he finished his final tour of duty as a Public Safety Dispatcher with Orleans County 9-1-1. “Beach” as he is known to his friends and the many people he has served through his lengthy career, has one of the most recognizable voices to his listening audiences in the public safety communities of Orleans and Monroe counties.
He started his dispatch career in the summer of 1972 when he was hired at SUNY Brockport for their Security Department dispatch office. Note: That department has since evolved into the SUNY Brockport University Police. Tsoukatos served as a short time for the department as a security officer before returning to his dispatch chair under then Monroe County Sheriff William Lombard. He worked as a Sheriff’s Dispatcher from 1976 until 1979. His true passion was with the fire service so when an opportunity arose for him to serve the Rochester Fire Department in 1979 as a fire dispatcher, he jumped at the chance, working out of their cramped quarters on Cumberland Street in the City of Rochester. He was there until the City of Rochester and the County of Monroe joined forces to develop the 9-1-1 system which would serve all municipalities in Monroe County. He then moved to their new offices on the fifth floor of the Public Safety Building. He continued there as a fire dispatcher until yet another opportunity presented itself.
The Village of Brockport had an opening for a Public Safety Dispatcher. Tsoukatos had what the job required and then some. He had dispatched police with the Sheriff’s Office. He had answered incoming emergency calls. He had been the calm voice they came to rely on for many fire departments across the City and County, and it was an opportunity for him to serve his hometown in a capacity unequaled by few. It is noteworthy to mention that he also served his friends and neighbors in Brockport as a part-time Police Officer for several years. Tsoukatos transferred to the Village in 1985 and worked there until his last transfer to Orleans County 9-1-1.
Tsoukatos was offered a position to once again serve multiple public safety agencies in another 9-1-1 Center; Orleans County. This office is a somewhat smaller operation than he was used to in Monroe County with a different set of challenges. These challenges were met head-on by him and much to the benefit of his new home and community. With this career opportunity came a move for him both professionally and personally. He moved his entire family to their “new home” of Orleans and has been living with his wife and continued to raise his two children (both adults now) in the Town of Clarendon.
As he prepared to work his last weekend, Tsoukatos received a visit from Sheriff Scott Hess, Undersheriff Steve Smith and Orleans County Legislator Lynne Johnson (R District 2), Chair of the Legislature’s Public Safety Committee. Sheriff Hess and Ms. Johnson presented him with a retirement plaque, Certificate of Retirement and congratulatory letter thanking him for his nineteen years of service with the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office Communication Center. On his last tour, friends and co-workers, retirees and deputies all stopped by to wish him well in whatever the future holds for him.
Good Luck “Beach Ball” and happy trails!