Behind the Scenes: Bill Catron, Senior Information Systems Analyst
In the middle of a crowded and noisy Command Post, Senior Information Systems Analyst Bill Catron sits in his chair and smiles. Surrounded by large video monitor displays and mountains of sophisticated computer software, he knows that these machines are running smoothly as a result of his efforts.
Bill’s fascination with science and technology began at age 13, when his Montebello Boy Scout Troop Leaders told stories of their experiences building rockets, airplanes and spacecraft for companies such as TRW, Lockheed and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “I was amazed at the things these men were able to accomplish,” said Catron, “they were great role models and I never forgot them.” Bill started his career as an intern at Caltech and his curiosity and willingness to learn was soon rewarded by getting drafted into the nuclear field, building reactor parts in support of the nation’s alternative power initiatives of the 1970’s.
Unfortunately for Catron, the Three Mile Island accident and bad publicity from movies such as “The China Syndrome” shut down the expansion of nuclear power in this country. After 6 exciting years on the job, Bill was out of work. Not one to feel sorry for himself, Catron bounced back and found a way to make a livelihood working on computerized numerical control machines. In 1998, he landed a job with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Data Systems Bureau, and he’s been there ever since. Because of his exceptional skills, LA-RICS contracts with LASD for Bill's services on an "as needed" basis.
“Bill has been a tremendous asset to the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System (LA-RICS),” says Lieutenant Judy Anderson, “It is only with his help that we were able to get hundreds of modems working on our private 4G LTE Public Safety Broadband Network (PSBN). Getting these modems functional is an extremely complex task, involving knowledge of mobile digital computers (MDC), networking and internet security protocol. In the near future, we expect that thousands of public safety vehicles will be running on the PSBN. Bill Catron is the key person making that happen for us.”
With two successful children and two grandchildren, Bill takes pride in his accomplishments. “It’s amazing at how fast the time goes by,” he muses. Back in the 2017 Tournament of Roses Parade Command Post Catron sighs, its 5 in morning, he’s got many hours on the clock and many more to go. “Oh well,” he notes, “it’s a good thing I like what I do."