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San Diego Police Department dispatcher uses floral creations to spread comfort during tragedies

Bringing comfort through bouquets
Posted at 8:53 PM, May 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-25 23:53:25-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — For San Diego Police Department dispatcher, Sophia Bengel, her job has always been more than just a phone call.

"We speak to these officers, and you never know when it might be the last time you might hear their voice," Bengel said.

While she described her job as a big part of potentially saving someone's life, she said the other side of it, is the reality that someone on her own team might not make it out alive.

"When it's an intense situation and there's a fallen officer, it affects everyone. I can relate to those situations." Bengel said.

She said that's the case for every department near and far, and it was one fatal shooting of an officer in Northern California that simply urged her to do more.

"When I heard the story, I thought I have something I can give to showdown here in Southern California, that we're thinking about them," she said.

A skilled bouquet artist in her free time, Bengel sent her first arrangement to the Northern California officer's family last year, it blossomed from there.

She's created and sent floral creations to two dozen families both near and far.

She said you can't prevent the "what ifs" of working with what she described as her blue line family, but it's what you can control she describes is key.

"Some of the calls can affect you but how you handle it outside is really more important and that's why I started the flowers," said Bengel.

During the pandemic, she also sent flowers to front-line healthcare workers including nurses and doctors.

"If you have a skill where you enjoy doing it for other reasons, but sometimes have an opportunity to give it, out of your good heart, I think people should take advantage of those opportunities," Bengel concluded.