OPCD #SHOWUP Spotlight
In 2019, OPCD began our #SHOWUP Spotlight Series, designed to share the stories of our Heroes Under the Headset who go above and beyond to serve the city of New Orleans. We are excited to continue this series by introducing you to
OPCD Operations Supervisor, Neliska Calloway-Hewitt.
Neliska, an Operations Supervisor at OCPD, has been working in the public safety emergency communications field for more than seventeen years. The New Orleans native, born and raised in the Tremé Neighborhood, became a first responder after recognizing her true passion. “I’ve always loved helping others and I had been in the hospitality industry for several years, but I wanted a job that I could see myself committed to for years,” said Neliska.
As an Operations Supervisor, Neliska uses her fervor for aiding the citizens and visitors of New Orleans, not only by answering their calls during critical moments, but also by leading and setting an example for emergency communications specialists. “In this industry a supervisor has to wear many hats. We are coaches, cheerleaders, counselors, and problem solvers,” said Neliska. “Most importantly, we must be good communicators and listeners, be very observant and know how to build a trusting relationship with staff.”
She prides herself on being compassionate, encouraging, and approachable and makes it a point to treat others with respect and dignity, on and off the job. “Many times, we forget that the people who are helping others through a crisis, on a daily basis, are dealing with some of the same issues,” said Neliska. “Some of them have lost loved ones to gun violence, they have family members or close friends dealing with addiction, mental crisis, and even domestic violence. That’s why it’s important for supervisors to truly know their co-workers and to pay attention to their needs.”
This dedicated hero barely takes days off when it comes to doing what she loves, but definitely makes time for those who have the number one spot in her heart. Neliska enjoys spending her off days with her husband, who is a thirteen-year veteran of the New Orleans Police Department, her three sons and two daughters. “We love spending quality time in the backyard playing board games and UNO while my husband is on the grill or boiling seafood. We also love vacationing together,” said Neliska.
Enjoying treasured moments with her family, witnessing the growth of the people she supervises, and giving back to the community is what keeps this amazing first responder going.
Neliska, thank you for embodying the #SHOWUP culture. Your leadership, kindness and determination are just some of the many things we appreciate about you!