SNOPAC dispatcher reflects on change

EVERETT — The executive director of the Snohomish County Police Staff and Auxiliary Service Center has retired.

Tom Howell stepped down on March 5 after more than two decades of service at the center, also called SNOPAC. It’s the emergency dispatch center serving most of north, central and east Snohomish County.

“What do you say after 25 years?” Howell said in an e-mail to his employees. “When I came to SNOPAC in 1985 we had 44 employees, paper dispatch cards, and an antiquated radio system. Now you are entering an entirely new technical world that will make a tremendous change to 911 and Snohomish County.”

Today there are more than 100 employees using sophisticated computer-aided dispatch technology.

“I still get compliments every day from citizens, politicians, leaders and our partners in the field,” Howell said.

The dispatch center was started in 1974. It serves 36 police, fire and other emergency agencies. A separate emergency dispatch center serves south Snohomish County.

Kurt Mills took over for Howell as executive director.

Mills joined SNOPAC a few months ago and has a long history working in emergency communications.

Most recently Mills ran the dispatch service for Rural-Metro Ambulance service out of Mountlake Terrace.

Jackson Holtz: 425-339-3437, jholtz@heraldnet.com.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Questions and misinformation about COVID-19 in Snohomish County

Public Health Essentials! A blog by the Snohomish Health District.

Slain officer joined Bothell police in 2019; suspect jailed

Henry Washington shot two officers while fleeing a traffic stop, police said. Officer Jonathan Shoop died.

Tulalip Bingo and Slots hall set to reopen next week

The bingo and slot machine parlor closed in late March. When it resumes, masks will be required.

Report: Various measures needed as WA schools eye reopening

Scenarios include grouping students by age, physical distancing, wearing masks and daily screening.

Roy Derrick died at age 75. Photo provided
                                 Roy Derrick died at age 75. Photo provided
Navy veteran without family will receive funeral with honors

Roy Derrick will be laid to rest in Coupeville on July 21. He died in Everett on July 7.

Charge: Man said, ‘Come on, pig,’ before killing Bothell cop

Henry Eugene Washington did not show up to court Wednesday because he was “medically unavailable.”

Lawsuit alleges ‘vicious assault’ on man by Fortney, deputies

Paul Barracliffe was punched, Tased and bitten by a dog. Deputies reported he resisted arrest.

State sees historic monthly drop in unemployment rate but…

Even with a 5.3% decrease in rate of unemployment, the jobless mark is still at 9.8%.

Most Read