I have been in emergency services since 1981, as a firefighter with the West Fork Fire Dept. I have been involved in emergency dispatching since 1986 when I started as a full time EMT/Paramedic at Central EMS. I have maintained my certification in Emergency Medical and Emergency Fire Dispatch since 1996. I have dispatched for EMS, Fire and Police and have been an instructor for most of my career. I held the position of Treasurer for the Arkansas Chapter of APCO International, from 2007 until 2016. I am an instructor for the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy for EMS and one of the 4 initial instructors for the Arkansas Basic Telecommunicators Course, as well as an APCO EMD instructor. I like to hunt, fish, ride my Harley Davidson, and spend time with my family.
Tara Bryant is currently the morning shift Dispatch Supervisor for the Fayetteville Police Department, where she has been employed since 2005. She is a member of Fayetteville's Tactical Dispatch and Special Events Dispatch Team, becoming the team lead in 2019. She also was promoted to her supervisory position in January 2019. During her tenure, Tara has achieved certification in APCO's CTO and RPL courses in 2010 and 2021, respectively. Tara traveled to California to complete POST Certified Tactical Beginner Training in 2014, and POST Advanced Tactical Training in 2015. She has completed COML and Incident Tactical dispatch courses in 2019. Her passion in dispatch, beyond tactical operations, is making sure telecommunicators feel comfortable in their roles and can achieve their fullest potential in the position.
Tara has an amazing fiancé, is a mother of two grown boys, and is a new grandmother of a little girl who has her wrapped around her finger. She was born and raised in Northwest Arkansas.
Scott Ballard has worked for the Washington County Sheriff’s Office as a CTO/ 911 Communications Supervisor Specialist for the past ten years. Prior his employment with Washington County, he resided in Southern California where he volunteered for the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office and worked for a local Tribal Government as a Tribal Enforcement Officer where he was later promoted to Sergeant. Scott has attended and completed the Arkansas Basic Telecommunicator Course, the APCO Communications Training Officer Course, and has completed the NPS Law Enforcement Ranger Academy . Scott has served on the Arkansas APCO Conference Committee since 2016 and currently serves as the Conference Chair. In addition, he has took on the task of developing/ implementing our current Arkansas APCO website.
Carla Holcroft was raised in Northwest Arkansas and has lived there all her life. She started her law enforcement career in January of 1997 as a Dispatcher for the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. She was promoted to Lead Dispatcher in 2001 and rose to the rank of 911 Communications Director in February of 2012. She has over a 2,000 hours of extensive specialized training. Including Communications Training Officer (CTO), Management, Instructor development and leadership skills. In October of 2010 she successfully completed APCOs Institute's Leadership Certificate Program (RPL). She has been directly involved in writing and teaching the Arkansas’s Basic Telecommunicator Course at the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy in Camden, AR since 2011. She has traveled around the State of Arkansas and has taught over 1000, 911 Dispatcher’s during that time and has loved every minute of it! She is very passionate about her career and believes it is a calling. She wants to ensure that Arkansas 911 dispatchers are given the opportunity to excel and they can’t do that without training. She has served on the Arkansas APCO board in the past. She is currently on the Washington County Sheriff’s Office Awards & Promotional Committee, 2019 APCO International Awards Work Group for Supervisor and is a member of the Washington County FOP Lodge #69. She has been married to Mike for 33 years who is Washington County Deputy assigned to the Civil Division. She has one daughter Alexis, 27 who is a CPL at the Washington County Detention Center and one grandson named River Knox, who is 22 months old.
Shannon has worked in public safety for over twenty two years. She started her public safety career in 1997 for the Fayetteville Police Department as a Telecommunicator, rising to the rank of Lead Dispatcher. In 2003, she moved to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office as the Communication Center Manager. During that time, she participated in several fundraising events and community outreach programs, served as the historian for the Sheriff’s Office, and compiled a complete timeline for all Sheriff’s since the County’s inception in 1828. She also served as APCO Executive Council Representative for Arkansas from November of 2008 to January 2012. During this time, Shannon was a key player in getting standardized training in Arkansas and was one of the founding persons who helped get HB1741 passed, now known as Act 640 of 2011. This made standardized training available in the State of Arkansas. Shannon was part of the team which created the Basic Telecommunicator Course curriculum used today at the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy and is one of the instructors for that course. In 2012, Shannon moved over to the University of Arkansas Communications Center and is their Public Safety Communications Center Manager. She took this move so she could finish her bachelor’s degree. In 2018, she graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Education in Human Resource and Workforce Development. Shannon has been married for 26 years to Tim, and has 2 children, Taylor and Trevor, with a grandchild on the way! She enjoys spending her off time watching her son play baseball. She continues her commitment in striving to ensure training and resources are available to keep our state on the forefront of public safety communications. Her motto is, “A better world begins with a better me. And a wise person I know always said, the best way to cope with change is to be a part of it!"
Kristi Key began her career with the Fayetteville Police Department in February 2000. She was promoted to Dispatcher Trainer in November of 2000 and to Night Shift Dispatch Supervisor in 2005. In 2008, Kristi stepped down from her supervisory position in order to spend more time with her now 5 year old daughter, Jillian Grace. Kristi is currently the day shift trainer. She became a NCI certified Communications Training Officer (CTO) in May of 2001. She completed an ALETA certified instructor development course in February of 2003. In 2005, Kristi received a Train-the-Trainer certificate from the University of Arkansas. In 2010, she became an APCO certified CTO as well. Kristi is very interested in domestic preparedness and weapons of mass destruction. In November 2002, she attended the WMD Technical Emergency Response Training course in Anniston, Alabama where she learned about the different areas of terrorism. In November 2003, she became certified through the US Department of Homeland Security as a WMD General Instructor. In November 2008, Kristi became an APCO-certified Instructor. In 2010, Kristi’s certification grew to include the following APCO classes: Public Safety Telecommunicator I, Fire Service Communications, and Communications Training Officer. She has completed the APCO RPL course to further enhance her leadership abilities.
Stuart G. Peters is Vice President of Voice Products Inc. which has been in operation for 29 years. Stuart has distinguished himself throughout his career with his knowledge of voice and video recording. Stuart earned The Wichita Business Journal “40 Under 40” award which recognizes both his business and civic accomplishments. Voice Products was also recognized with the Wichita Business Journal Best in Business Top 15 Award. Stuart is a graduate of Kansas State University.