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(IN THE RADIO ROOM)

KNOW MY JOB-KNOW ME
GET ACQUAINTED WITH BOBBI MCGEE
a law enforcement communication specialist


A MESSAGE FROM A DISPATCHER
BY
BOBBI McGEE


Did your car get stolen?

Your house burn down?

Did your daughter run away

With the neighborhood clown?

Was your car repossessed?

Did your husband get drunk?

Did the neighborhood dog

Kill the neighborhood skunk?

Did your drunken husband beat you up,

And you're mad 'cause we put him in jail?

Is your cow running loose down the highway,

And your roof got damaged by hail?

Is there heavy breathing on your phone,

Or a man in your house with a gun?

You heard a strange noise at the neighbor's,

Are they fighting, or just having fun?

Be it a crime,

A civil offense,

A homicide or a sin,

Call your friendly dispatcher,

You'll find us always in.

We'll send a cop if you need one,

We'll send him code 3 or code 2,

Or you can just cry on our shoulder,

We've nothing better to do.

If you work for this department,

And you need a phone call made,

Or you want to make arrangements

To have your check relayed,

You need the 20 of your sergeant,

You have a message for ID,

A citizen's trying to black your eye

And you need help code 3?

Be it a message for your cousin Nell,

Or a citizen's dog acting weird,

There's a rattlesnake in a jail cell,

Or your squad car disappeared,

You have 3 prisoners and you need a hand?

You dispatcher will always come thru.

Your 4 by 4 is stuck in the sand?

We always know just what to do.

We can answer six phones

And talk in the "mike",

Check on a warrant and enter a bike,

All the while remaining aware

Of forty three deputies on the air,

Calling ID and investigations,

Advising the 'chain' of the situations,

Calling doggie control or sending a wrecker,

Highway Patrol, or livestock inspector.

We always stay cool,

We don't make mistakes,

We're always ready

Whatever it takes,

You can't make us angry,

You can't get us shook.

We love you all.

(And we're writing a book!)


Everything I wrote about in that poem really happened.

The rattlesnake in the jail cell? I had a Sgt. call me one night from our office in another little town, where we had a "holding" cell. He said, "Help me, help me"!

I thought he was kidding around, and I started laughing.

He said, "this isn't funny, I am sitting on top of my desk, there is a rattle snake in here. It went into a cell and I'm not getting off this desk 'till you send me some help."

I really started laughing then, I just couldn't help it. But I got on the phone and found someone to go rescue him from the snake.

The part about the squad car dissappearing?? That happened too.

One night one of our deputies went to break up a rowdy drinking party, and the next thing I knew, there was a drunk yelling, "eeee haaaw" on my radio.

When the deputy got out of his car, the party goers surrounded him, and one of them jumped in his car and drove away.

A citizen called to tell me where they parked it.

The deputy wasn't hurt, just embarrassed.

I used a couple of codes --I'm sure most of you know code3 means very fast, with lights and sirens--and code 2 means not as fast. Code " 20 " means location.

To "enter a bike" means to enter a stolen bicycle into the computer, so that if it is found, other agencies will know it is stolen.





THIS IS A LETTER

SENT TO ME FROM A

FELLOW DISPATCHER

I was raising 3 kids by myself, and they hated my job----

I knew who was doing what in the schools, and they didn't like that.

Neither did their friends----

like I just HAD to be working the night my son's girlfriend and her girlfriend got caught skinny-dipping at the city pool!

They had to be extra good, too, knowing that I'd be totally embarrased to have the people I worked with have to know anything bad about my kids.

I brought them to the jail---

made them see what was what------

I'll NEVER forget when my son was 16------

4 of the boys were riding in a car and the 2 in the back were drinking beer.

Naturally, they got caught with the open container and were all taken.

I was off that night, and got a call from the officer who picked them up----

he was laughing his ass off, cause he said my son refused to call home.

He told them to just lock him up and leave him there, but not to call ME------

the p.o. said he was so scared they could hear his teeth chattering---------

not at what happened, but scared of ME---

my kids knew that if the cops ever picked them up there would be hell to pay from mom.  

He wasn't drinking, Jeff (po) told me-----

they only brought him in cause they had to take them ALL in-----the guys laughed their asses off!!

I remember the Christmas Eve I sat with 2 teens whose mother was beaten up by her b.f.

and it was all I could do not to cry when the boy, maybe 14 turned to the younger sister and said

"looks like ANOTHER Merry Christmas, dosn't it?"

It broke my heart wondering how many other Christmases were spent in police stations or emergency rooms.

I remember the woman who spazzed out when she found her husband hanging in the cellar.

They had come here from the old country---they met in a concentration camp and had no family, either of them.

They were maybe late 60's in age, and all she kept screaming was,

"My Johnny would never leave me alone."

She was totally convinced someone murdered him because with no family, no children, NO BODY,

he'd have never killed himself and left her alone.

She called me during the night for many years after that just to have someone to talk to.

No one realizes just how much dispatchers do in the way of doctoring, nuturing, analyzing, comforting and helping people over the phone

and doing stuff that the cops don't even hear about. Lots of PR work!!

I remember the night I was the only one in the whole building at city hall because there was supposedly a bomb hidden there.



SOMEBODY had to man the computers, phones and hold down the fort until the county bomb squad could get there!!!

I remember the nights sitting in the can having "personal problems" and dispatching from a portable!!

I remember the abuse over the phone,

and/or the screaming that people would lay on me for one reason or another.

I remember the night a guy came in so distraught because the city had torn his dilapidated house down

that he broke right thru the glass partition into my radio room.

Talked to him til the guys got there in just a few minutes---and when he spazzed again,

I remember being the one in the middle of it all who got zapped in the leg with the goddam stun gun!!!

I remember the lady who wanted to know if I could make her husband leave her alone.

She didn't want him around her and would call crying and hysterical------I helped her.

The guy had been dead for years!!

His ghost just wouldn't quit. I had her do the Italian thing with the salt under the bed------

she could never thank me enough for making him finally leave.

I remember the little girl whose mother and her moved here from God-knows-where.

She must have been about 5 or 6 and called one night crying because her "doggy got died" that day.

Periodically for months until she made some friends at school,

she'd wait til her mother went to bed at night and call me in the middle of the night just to talk.

I often wondered---what were their lives like that she got uprooted that way.

Was the mother so exhausted she didn't talk to the kid?

I truly truly believe that job made me a better mother, in more ways than one.

Stricter---yes--none of that "not MY kid" shit that I saw down the station.

That's why my son knew better than to call me to bail him out.


It made me go home in the morning and give my kids that little extra hug

because of something that may have "touched" me during my shift.





I copied the above verbatum,with permission from "Angel". The language gets a little rough in a couple of places, but remember, dispatchers work around "cops" who work around the scum of the earth. It is pretty hard not to let some of it rub off. I have a great big problem trying to curb my tongue around "nice" people.

This letter brought back a lot of memories for me.

In my office, the public doesn't have access to us, but I still managed to get shot at through the window.

My co-worker that day was a gal who had been a field Sgt. for a small police dept.

After the glass stopped flying, I looked around and found "Barb" under a desk.

I said "what happened?"

She said "we got shot at--I worked on the road for ten years,

then decided to come in here where it was safe--

this is the first time I ever got shot at."

It turned out that an off -duty officer's gun had gone off accidently as he was getting out of his car outside.






__________________________________


The following exchanges are taken from transcripts of 911 calls:(not mine)

Caller: "I'd like to make a unanimous complaint, so don't use my name."

Caller: "I'm reporting a deer on the road. I almost hit it." Call-taker: "Is the deer alive?" Caller: "Oh, no, it's run over. Many, many cars. Again and again, and - OH NO!!! NOT AGAIN!"

Caller: "Am I talking to a real person, or this a recording?"

Caller: "We might (cough) need the fire department here (cough)."

Caller: "Is it okay for a civilian to take a person to the hospital, or does the ambulance have to do it?"

Caller: (irate) "That's 'W' as in Williams and 'Y' as in why."

Caller (on realizing the police are on the way): "Get the keg outta here, dude!"

Caller: "He's not breathing!" Call-taker: "Can you get the phone close to him? Caller: "WHY? You want to hear he's not breathing, too?"

Call-taker: "Does she have any weapons?" Caller: "Well, she has real long finger nails."

Call-taker: "We'll need a description of him." Caller: "He's a lawyer."

Caller: "No, she just didn't fall...I helped her!"

Complaint about a stolen mailbox: Call-taker: "What is your address?" Caller: "It's gone."

Caller: "I'm scared, I just got a Ouija board for my birthday, and now there's writing on my wall and I can't get it off... ...this thing is going back to K-Mart first thing in the morning!


One of MY favorite 911 calls-- Caller: we are moving, and I am at the new house, and my husband is at the old house-I need you to take him an emergency message- Me: What is your emergency? Caller: Tell him to bring the plunger and the porta-potty!!!

Then there was the man who called and said he pulled over to take a nap, laid his seat back and couldn't get it upright again. I told him the only thing I could do was send him a tow truck, and maybe the driver could help him. He said okay.

Then I asked him " Are you on the shoulder of the highway, on the side road, or in the parking lot?"

He said, "no, no, I am right here in my car"

That's kind of like the cartoon I saw a couple of years ago. It shows a picture of a man talking on the phone, and smoke and flames behind him. He is saying, "What do you mean how do you get here, don't you still have those big red trucks?"

Then we get the calls from some guy who says

"I just shot my whole family, and I don't know what to do now"

He had !!!

And the call I got one night from a teenage boy, who said he had wrecked his car, his friends were hurt,

he had walked to a house where no one was home, gone inside to use the phone

and had no idea where he was.

he too was hurt, not to mention in shock.

I had to really do some talking to figure out where he was and get help to him and his friends.



I DIDN'T WRITE THIS ONE, BUT I LOVE IT




YOU KNOW YOU HAVE BEEN A DISPATCHER TOO LONG WHEN...

--YOU SPEND MORE ON FAST FOOD THAN ON UTILITIES

--YOU ANSWER YOUR HOME PHONE "DISPATCH"

--THE ONLY THING THAT GETS YOUR ADRENALINE GOING IS THE WALK TO AND FROM YOUR CAR

--YOU FIND HUMOR IN OTHER PEOPLE'S MISERY

--YOU'RE ONLY HAPPY IF YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO COMPLAIN ABOUT

--YOU CONSIDER PATIENCE A WEAKNESS, NOT A VIRTUE

--YOUR IDEA OF A GOOD NIGHT INVOLVES SOMEONE GETTING SHOT, CHASED OR DISMEMBERED

--YOU HAVE FORGOTTEN WHAT IT'S LIKE TO ACTUALLY EAT A WARM MEAL

--YOUR DOG DOESN'T RECOGNIZE YOU AND THE KIDS THINK YOU'RE JUST THE PERSON WHO DROPS BY EVERY NOW AND THEN TO BRING GROCERIES AND DO THE LAUNDRY.

--YOU TRULY BELIEVE THAT STUPIDITY SHOULD BE PAINFUL


The following was written by another dispatcher, I wish I knew her/his name.

TAKE PRIDE

I sit behind a radio each day, a servant of many.

Yes, you guessed it I AM A DISPATCHER. One of the few who serve many.

All too often I am given little recognition for a very demanding and frustrating job.

Because of this I sometimes forget how important the role I play really is.

How many times I have stated this famous comment,

and I quote:"Oh, I am only a Dispatcher."

But when I really stop to think of my responsibilities and the importance I play in the public safety profession,

I cannot help but be proud of what I am doing, or what I have done or accomplished.

I have probably been involved, heard or observed more of real life in a year than most people do in a lifetime.

When I stop to think of the realization of what the next call may be,

and how I can best handle a critical problem of someone

hurt, afraid or emotionally upset reaching out for help,

how many times I just might have saved an officer's life or a citizen's life by my quick thinking and professional handling of a situation,

yes, I am proud of what I do!

I believe as a dispatcher I know my mission

and that is the hub and the link between the citizen and many resources I have available to me,

and yes, I will dedicate myself to my profession as a dispatcher.

Even though many do not understand the awesome responsibility that I have,

I believe in what I do, and I m proud to have been chosen for this profession.

I fully realize that professionallism, training and continued alertness is the key to becoming a true professional

in the awesome field of law enforcement.



click on "Taz"

to see my

" TRIBUTES " page





click on

"Sarge"

to see my

CHRISTIAN COP page

(sorry-under const)



"Collection of "cop" stuff"



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