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Shaaron Claridge, (now Shaaron Snead) was a second-shift radiotelephone operator or police radio dispatcher at the Van Nuys Division of the Los Angeles Police Department best known for her voice work on the Adam-12 television series. She has since retired.
Women were primarily desired as police radio dispatchers because LAPD psychologists thought that women's voices would have a more soothing and calming effect over the airwaves. The idea was that, should an officer (male) have been pinned down by gunfire and/or wounded, yet was still within radio contact, hearing the female dispatcher's tone would help keep the officer from panicking until back-up arrived at the scene. Her husband was an LAPD motorcycle officer.
For a time from the late 1960s into the late 1970s, she was a voice actress credited with primarily providing police dispatch voice work for Adam-12 and also a few other television shows (i.e., Dragnet, Lou Grant and Columbo). Her voice work as the police dispatcher ("1-Adam-12, 1-Adam-12, see the man . . .") was featured in all but three episodes of Adam-12 ("Elegy For A Pig," "Hollywood Division" and "Clinic On Eighteenth Street"). She also had a cameo appearance as a police clerk in the fifth season episode "Suspended" in which she is asked a favor by Officer Pete Malloy (Martin Milner). However, don't watch the episode thinking you'll be able to see what Claridge looks like as it appears that certain steps were taken to ensure that she wouldn't be recognized, such as the camera angles used in the sequence: when Milner first walks into the room, the camera is across said room and only Shaaron's left profile is seen at a distance. But for the close-up, the camera is positioned above Shaaron's head, over her left shoulder, and aimed down and diagonally to make it hard for the viewer to make out much in the way of her facial features. She is also said to be wearing a wig for the scene. This was presumably done to protect Shaaron due to her position as a real LAPD dispatcher, not a voice actress only.
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