Friday, April 11, 2008

Radio Check...

I shocked a dispatcher the other day. I thanked her.

I sent a message over the computer in my car a little while after I finished a pursuit, thanking the dispatcher for being there. When we, on the street, finish something, we generally slap backs and shake hands and all that other testosterone laden horse shit, but how often do we thank our dispatchers? Not often enough.

Dispatchers have to endure as much as we do, or more. While we're out there handling business, the dispatcher often has no idea what in Hell is going on, because with a gun in one hand and a flashlight in the other, yelling at someone to get the FUCK on the ground, I often don't have the time, the inclination, or the free hand, to key the radio and tell them what's going on. I am usually, however, the first one to remember to advise "Code 4" when the smoke has cleared and the dust has settled. I know there's a dispatcher at the other end of the radio, with a pucker factor of about nine point five, who's waiting to hear something.

Dispatchers can be a pain in the ass at times, but they have their reasons. I'm sure they think I'm a pain in the ass sometimes too. I know I am. I'm sure for every time I've muttered "God, what a bitch!" under my breath, there's been a dispatcher on the other end muttering "God, what an asshole!" under hers. While we have our differences at times, we still somehow manage to work it out when the shit hits the fan, and I know that most of them would be rolling Code 3 to cover me if they could.

For any incident that traumatizes a police officer, somehow people forget the dispatcher who was working the channel. Just because he or she wasn't there physically, absolutely does not mean they weren't there mentally. I have seen dispatchers medically retired because they were working a channel when an officer was shot. This is serious business.

Not enough thanks goes to our dispatchers, and I cannot say enough on this little blog. They are an integral part of our system of doing business. I hope this makes up some Karma points for all those who forget to say it, but...

Thanks dispatchers, for being there, for listening, and for putting up with my bullshit. Y'all can ride in my patrol car any time.

8 comments:

TheBronze said...

Smitty,

True that!

They aren't out there mixing it up, but you couldn't do the job w/out them.

USAincognito said...

Thank you for this reminder. Dispatching is a thankless job at times but we rely on them so much - they are our lifeline so many times.
A big thank you from me to dispatchers, as well! :)

justusforall said...

[I'm sure they think I'm a pain in the ass sometimes too. I know I am. I'm sure for every time I've muttered "God, what a bitch!" under my breath, there's been a dispatcher on the other end muttering "God, what an asshole!" under hers.]

It takes an enlightened man to admit he can be an asshole at times.

Berserk said...

I just had a run-in with one of our dispatchers the other day. Details aren't important, but she called me out on the air and I took the bait, we had a little "discussion" over the computer.

As usually happens in these cases, I won the argument and then she sent me a cold juvenile assault in someone else's beat a couple hours later. Doesn't pay to piss them off, eh?

Liz said...

What a nice post, every word of it true. Confidence in my dispatcher is right up there with confidence in myself and my buddies on the street.

kvegas911 said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for the lovely sentiment. You're right, we are at the other end with major pucker factor. When I'm at work my boys (and girls) are MY boys and God help whoever tries to hurt them. I've about choked on my heart many times when I can't raise someone. You guys are the best, and we love all of you a lot more than you know. (just ask my spoiled brats, they all know there's candy and ibuprofen in my desk and that I occasionally cook for them LOL)

Big Poppa said...

OMG! An officer who says thank you? You rock at life. Can I come and work with you? I don't care how big an asshole any officer is, but if they PUBLICLY thank the dispatcher (over the radio), they have my undying support.
~~And to you berserk~~ REMEMBER - Dispatchers always win. Piss us off, and you will learn that revenge is a dish best served cold. It is unfortunate though that the dispatcher had to call you out over the radio - very unprofessional!!

Angie said...

It is very nice to see this from an officer. As much as we sometimes butt heads, us dispatchers take it very seriously that we are responsible for our officers' safety. Thank you for this post!