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Gary Allen, Dispatch Monthly Editor, has Died
Author: Randall D. Larson
We’re sorry to report that Gary Allen, former editor/publisher of Dispatch Monthly magazine/911 Dispatch web site, has lost his battle with brain cancer. He passed away on Sunday Oct. 11, at the age of 67.
Retiring from Berkeley (CA) PD after 20 years as a veteran dispatcher, Gary had took on editorship of Dispatch Monthly from its founder Alan Burton in 1999, managing its last few years as a print magazine and then expanding it full time into one of the most significant online news and 9-1-1 archival resources on the World Wide Web.
Gary closed down his web site last April – but it was only recently that we learned why: that was the month he’d been diagnosed with a brain tumor, and was now in hospice. With his approval, we posted that sad news less than four weeks ago and are now very sorry to report that the cancer has run its course and taken his life.
Gary was a familiar figure at APCO, NENA, and NAED navigator conferences, as an attendee, reporter, and occasional speaker at local dispatcher recognition ceremonies. He was a frequent editorial contributor to 9-1-1 Magazine in the early 1990s and served as our associate editor during 1994-95. But his dedication to the public safety dispatch profession most significantly resounded with the accumulated news, editorials, and vast storehouse of 9-1-1 and emergency communications historical data archived on the 911Dispatch web site. The tape library of 9-1-1 recordings and radio traffic he assembled and maintained on that site contained hundreds of tapes of 9-1-1 calls and public safety radio communications that have been invaluable to the training of dispatchers new and seasoned for many years. We hope to be able to preserve whatever we can of the content of his web site and maintain it in Gary’s honor.
Second only to his passion for the emergency dispatch community, Gary was also a huge fan of Apple stores – the design and methodology with which the company presented itself, and traveled throughout the world to attend openings of Apple’s new stores, often being among the first in line. Apple remembered its “biggest fan” in this article posted today in The Washington Post.
We in the public safety emergency communications community admired and remember Gary for his easy going manner, his articulation about the technical aspects of emergency communications, his ability to gather dispatch-reloated news and share it for the education of the profession, his splendid way with words, and his commitment to the profession. He will be long remembered and greatly missed.