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(IN THE RADIO ROOM)




THIS IS A LETTER

SENT TO ME FROM A

FELLOW DISPATCHER

TOP1 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.






top5-------__________________________________


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.

end1



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