Monday, August 27, 2012

Making Amends and Clearing the Air

I've been doing some serious thinking lately, especially due in part to all the chaos and upheaval that is this place. I know it seems like I complain a lot and I don't want to come off that way. I love my job and I love this department (it might be a little masochistic) despite all of its flaws, its a good place. I had a chance to work with the lady who trained me when I first came to work for the department when it was still county wide dispatch. We'd had falling out due mostly to my being young and stupid and her being older and crotchty :). No in all seriousness, it had a lot to do with our supervisor who loves to pit his employess against each other and manipulate them into fighting with each other. And I, fell into the trap without even realizing it. I guess maturity means being able to take responsibility for your words and your actions. It was my fault for falling into the trap and saying things I shouldn't have said out of frustration. But hopefully things are better and I'll be the first to admit when I'm wrong. I don't like drama in the workplace and I sure don't want to alienate the people who will eventually be my lifeline on the other side of the radio. It's been an eyeopening experience, mostly because I've been lucky enough to avoid these types of situations by being smarter. Well, it bites and crow is not the most tasty dish in the buffet! :)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Recent Events...

I'm not sure exactly who looked at what...but now all of my favorite wasting time websites are now unavailable :( No pinterest, no youtube, and no Smith and Wesson! What?! Luckily I can still write about this thing called dispatching and the ups and downs of the job! As some have realized, the communications division has had its share of trouble over the last 4-5 months, losing 4 experienced dispatchers and having to go through the interview process (which has been hilarious), the training process (which has been exasperating), and the overall job which has left me pulling my hair out and thankful for the job at the same time. It's such a bi-polar experience, working with pain, laughter, sadness, anger and joy. And I've learned I can do a whole lot more than I thought possible. So on to the hilarity. I'm sitting in on the interview boards a couple of weeks ago and in walks this young woman. It was clear that she was female, since her breasts were pretty much all that was visible. Bear in mind I'm the only female sitting on this 5 man board and I nearly lost it. She was sweet... I'll leave it at that!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Chasing My Tail

Sorry for the delay in regular updates, I promise my time has been well spent. Or not. At this point I think my days are running together and I think today is Friday... It's like an adventure around here. Kinda like Third Watch meets Perils of Penelope or something like that. We've lost 3 people in the last two weeks and now are down to 5 fulltime dispatchers and with a department of 45 patrolmen, that's a little scarce. So my new adventure began Thursday night with us moving back to 12 hour shifts to avoid only 3 people working overtime (2 have refused, citing their god-like status as reason) (I assume lol) I'm now working with a patrol Sgt who is back on light duty after being injured in a fight. It's nice having someone in here who can answer a phone and handle the situation without us having to tie up an officer, so plus there. We have interview boards next week...any suggestions on what I need to look for? I've got my question set typed up focusing more on thought process than scenarios, but I'd appreciate the feedback :) hope everyone has a good weekend!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Happy Friday the 13th

I joke that I'm superstitious about full moons and Friday the 13th, but I have to say I do put more faith in full moons than the other. In an unexpected turn of events, we've lost two dispatchers in the last three days putting us down to five fulltime and one trainee...can anyone say overtime? I will not complain, mostly due to the fact that one who quit was one of the biggest trouble makers we had, things should be a little more peaceful now that she's gone. (:

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Is There Such A Thing?

Is there such a thing as being too kind hearted or compassionate for this job? A concerned citizen brought in a newborn kitten last Friday and me, like a sap took it home simply because I think everything innocent deserves a fighting chance. I sit here on my front porch smoking and crying. (yes, I know it's a nasty habit and I should quit) I knew deep down the little guy wasn't going to survive without his momma but damn it, I was going to give him a shot. Right about 0245 he squeaked a little and then was just gone. Somehow I don't think I will ever be used to death. I've sat in the room with the hospice patient as they drew their last breath and it wasn't much different. There's just an overwhelming sense of sadness at the end of life. Yes, that person may have been a horrible person but it's the end.

Forgive me, I shouldnt blog when I'm sappy and emotional but it makes me sad.

Sorry for the weird rambling emotional text, I hope everyone's week goes well I'm going to try and enjoy my days off (:

Friday, July 6, 2012


I'm claiming the fact that I celebrated the 4th too hard to actually write an update. Today is the first official day of the new shifts, so far so good... Picking up where I left off, yesterday, I may have gotten a little busy ;) Had a board interview today, yep, we're trying this again. Nervous as hell! But I sucked it up, it was all people that I work with already and they just tried to look stern (and succeeded)I'm not counting my chickens yet, I've had too many near misses and false starts (hence you just now finding out about this!) Keeping up the pace has been hard, and I now know without a shadow of doubt that your head definitely gives out before your legs do. Have to whip my brain into shape!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Bucket Listing...

So, lately I've been considering writing a memoir. Not necessarily because I think my life has been particularly interesting or poignant, but mostly because I think I've experienced a lot in my short lifetime. Haha. We traveled a lot when I was a kid and I have the dysfunctional extended family from hell...(my step-grandfather actually threatened to kill my father and uncles) and I have a unique sense of humor and outlook on life. (That's why you read this, correct?) Shift schedules were released today, still on evening shift (yay). I've come to terms with it...and I'm cool with being the badass dispatcher who always knows what the heck is going on and never gets cranky on the radio (joooking..) I'm getting away from the irritating partner (Thank God!!!) but was also informed today that when the newbie is finished with First Phase (day shift) she will be moving to evenings and into my capable hands. Eeeek. Dunno if I'm ready for that responsibility again. She seems very "with it" so I'm not worried too much, I just don't want don't want the headaches...

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Brick Walls

Today is Sunday. The day of rest. (in theory) So far today I've spent a lot of time talking to thin air, or deaf ears, or brick walls, or however the general public wants to be categorized today. I've spent 15 minutes explaining to someone how I have no idea why an officer chooses to pull a car over because they do not tell dispatch their probable cause. In the same conversation I also had to explain why you get your driver's license taken away if you refuse to test for DUI. I've also decided that mothers' double as self-appointed lawyers. Spare me.

Friday, June 22, 2012


I have to say so far my favorite call ever has been the squirrel far we've had one every night I've worked...I'm definitely a fan. We have all been on pins and needles (I say "we" more like my nosey, loudmouth partner. Oops, did I really write that? Yes. Yes, I did. But I digress. On pins and needles about the pending shift change that is supposed to take place on the 5th, I've put back in for 2300-0700...hopefully it will happen. although it does mean I'll probably be stuck with loudmouth...I think I'm mature enough to deal! .......

Monday, June 18, 2012

Racial Profiling

I know Police Officers and Law Enforcement are accused of this frequently and the general citizenry are often quick to make the accusation. Well, in case they didn't realize it, the citizenry does this frequently. 911 call right at shift change as I'm getting ready to go to briefing and this older, very white lady tells me that a truck full of Hispanic males just stopped at a local steakhouse. (For the record, she didn't call them Hispanic Males). I decided to play dumb and asked her what she meant by the derogatory label that she used and she went on to call them "illegal aliens". I then asked her if she knew this for sure and she started accusing me of not wanting to do my job. Eventually, maybe in another world in the distant future, people won't be judged based on their race and by their character instead, whether white, black, hispanic, indian or asian. One can only hope.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Incorrigible Public

Well, I had a first today... Finally got the "Police are never there when you need them, only when you happen to have a blinker out or swerve across the yellow line" speech today. My response: .... My response in my head: Well, lady if you have called the police when you first were "ran" off the roadway instead of following the person to their house and watching them pull into their driveway things may have been taken care of. Her excuse? She didn't have cell service. Interesting, you're in the middle of town and no one else has that problem for sure.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Summertime Antics

As I've said many times, you have to be a unique person to do this job or at least a unique sense of humor. There was a request for the sharing of said antics, but before I do that, I must say this: I answer the phone "Police Department", but what I really should say is, "Animal Control, After Hours Utilities, Medical, Police and Fire Department" I'm not sure it has the same ring, but still... Yesterday was a little crazy, again, we are a small department with a fairly high call volume and a decent per capita crime rate, especially drugs and violent crime. Except for that whole animal control part, we're the epitome of a high class We've handled cats, bats, and squirrels in the last 2 days. My favorite so far is the squirrel, which was stuck in a pool drain. The solution: pick it up with a baton and fling it over the fence. The reaction: "I could have done that!" Then why call the police? The cat call also involved a baton (of course it was the same officer). Cat was stuck in a tree, and why he thought throwing the baton at the cat would make a difference, I'm not entire sure. He's special :) My other favorite of the day: child custody. You don't have a decree from a judge, so a notarized, handwritten statement should do the trick. Right. Where do these geniuses come from?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Summer Time

Sweet Summer Time... Or more aptly, the season of the lunatic fringe. I admit, it has its entertaining moments...

Friday, June 8, 2012

Patience Short Circuit

I think I may have finally had it with my partner...she's lucky there wasn't a homicide in dispatch yesterday! Late Wednesday night, early Thursday morning we had a tragic occurance in the county. A 16 year old girl was taken from a convenience store and brutally killed, suspect is in custody. My question to those readers who are dispatchers or current law enforcement, when is morbid curiosity too much? My partner would not let it go yesterday, constantly commenting on how she just "needed" to know as many of the gory, intimate details of the crime including COD. Needless to say, my patience with her is done. Kaput. We deal with the most intimate details of peoples' lives and deaths, sometimes we have to leave them in peace. One of the cleaning ladies works as a sectretary for the Sheriff's office and the minute she walked in, the questions started. I wanted to scream "enough!" but I couldn't get off the radio long enough to even complete a sentence. I honestly need some feedback on this because it has bothered me since I left work, do I speak with a supervisor or just talk to her myself? I'm just afraid if I said anything, it would be taken badly.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Part of the goal of this blog is to entertain, enlighten, vent, and in part keep me honest. I love my job, I do it fairly well (if I do say so myself) and I would do anything for my friends. I'm also one of the millions of people in the world who struggles with an eating disorder. When I heard the term, I used to think of bulimia or anorexia and girls who are skin and bones. I can honestly tell my readers that I never "planned" to be in this position or even realized what was happening until it was too late. For most people, eating isn't necessarily a chore, I have to consciously eat otherwise, I'll only eat around 700 calories a day. My one saving grace is that I'm not a heavy exerciser, but at the same time it's taken it's toll. I urge everyone to pay attention their friends and family, because sometimes it's not a form of dysmorphia or an illness. It's a person genuinely not paying attention to their bodies signals. Thanks for listening :)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Training and Experience

Lately, I've been spending a lot of time lately perusing thru training articles and the FEMA independent study website. In my mind, you can never be too prepared (and it alleviates some of the boredom). I'm such a firm believer in cross-training and establishing a strong working relationship, even when the parties involved may not exactly like each other. I know every agency stuggles with personality clashes, how do they handle them? Do they punish the slackers who refuse to work overtime, do they ignore the pot-stirrers? Here recently I've really wanted to pull my hair out, I feel that there are people who are capable of doing this job within the department, but I also KNOW that there are plenty who need to be removed before they kill someone. Officers are held to a standard of "training and experience" it's a staple within probable cause affidavits, as we all know. Yes, we are held to the same standard of liability, however, many times the training and safeguards are non-existent. I'm lucky now to work for an agency which does have a modicum of training and policy, it's lacking in comparison to that of a rookie officer, but it's better than all of the other agencies in the county.

Jurisdictional Issues?

I'm sure this is a common theme for agencies all over the country, that age old argument over whose problem is whose. And as I'm sure is also common, those who actually handle the day to day problems are the ones who work quite well with each other and have no real issues with the other agencies. I'm also aware that this is also not always the case, as training and procedures can also differ and there seem to be few people who keep the big picture in mind and go ahead and help anyways despite the fact that you may be dealing with the idiot from the next county over. I spent 6 minutes on the phone last shift talking the county ambulance service thru directions for a call that didn't even originate from our call center. (We handle 90-100 calls per shift depending on the weather and lunar phase, not counting those we have to transfer). My question is, when is enough enough? I used to work for this agency and I know how their training and procedures are and that's mostly why I don't work there anymore. When do you cut them off and transfer them to the originating agency because you have more than you can juggle yourself, knowing they will be dealing with people who are very close to incompetent? I find myself caring entirely too much, which isn't a bad thing necessarily, just tiresome. (:

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Only Request

If I could only ask one thing, I'm pretty sure it would be too much. Especially since I would be asking for something that requires common sense and intelligence. Please people, put more thought into your custody agreements! That is all.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


After a few years there's not much that surprises me anymore, or so I think. Yesterday had a couple of "firsts" for me in the way of Calls For Service. Elderly people are either my most or least favorite callers to talk to, mostly because they either already have all of the answers or know your boss, or they have no clue and are worried they are bothering you and are sweet as pie. Well, when you call me and tell me you've lost your bottom dentures and ask what we can do for you, I'll be honest, I'm at a total loss for words (a rarity). I felt bad for her, but there wasn't much we could do and we were also swamped at that moment with an MVA with injury and a power outage (people do call 911 because they have no electricity). The other was a regular BS caller asking if he could file a Missing Dog report. (I'm assuming these are similar to Missing Persons?) I politely told him that he could report the dog stolen, but not missing...let's local BOLO that one. "All receiving agencies, standby for a Missing Dog BOLO" no. :)

Monday, May 28, 2012

I've read that this is one of the most sacred non-christian holidays celebrated in the United States. Not many people understand the sacrifices that are made by men and women in the Armed Forces and their families, but those within the Blue Line family come close. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Happy Memorial Day, everyone! Stay safe and never forget.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

New Baby in the House :)

Haha...not that kind of baby :) We are now proud parents of an eight week old kitten named (aptly) Lil Shit. We tried a dog, long-term dog-sitting was a great way to learn that we are really not home enough to handle a dog at the moment and that is exactly the great thing about cats. They are extremely self-sufficient! I know there are cat people and dog people, we happen to be both in this house, and various other types of animals too. As I sit here writing this she's walking across the keyboard opening programs like a pro house cat.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


This is a post that is definitely different than my usual, however it still may pertain to the general theme. :) This job has its stresses, its ups and its down. Yet, somehow, they seem to be easier to handle within the job than in my personal life. I have a dear friend, who at one point worked in this field. She's what I would tongue-in-cheek call, "emergency services royalty" her father is a career fire fighter who is one of our assistant chiefs, and her mother is an ER lifer. She's also an alcoholic. She left the PD a month and half ago in order to seek help, specifically, AA. Two days ago, she fell off the wagon. I'm so torn right now because I know I need to call her parents, who have threatened her with rehab if she relapsed, but at the same time I want to give her another chance to get it together. My brother is accusing me of ignoring the problem and coddling her, I don't feel that this is the case because being an alcoholic isn't her only issue. I just don't want to betray her, but I want her to get help. Sometimes, what makes me so good at this job, makes me a horrible friend.

Monday, May 21, 2012

There's nothing better than being able to sit down with a few of your closest fellow dispatchers (i.e. the ones you hang out with outside of work) or officers and reminisce about either the most bizarre calls, callers, and instances. I do complain ( a lot ), but I'm pretty blessed to have some of the best officers a department could have. True, sometimes they make me want to choke them and departmental politics gets everyone twisted up from time to time, but overall, they make this job fun. There's also a rare feature among them, several are former dispatchers. This department prefers to pull from dispatchers when hiring from patrol. Yes, you still have to pass the physical (pushups suck, by the way. They are by no means, perfect, but I've been around a lot of agencies and a lot of police officers, troopers and deputies. Let's say I have a unique group of people and I'm glad to call them friends.

Friday, May 18, 2012


Have you ever worked with someone who has to have the last word? Or someone who has to interject themself into your conversation that you are having with someone else? Or perhaps has to tell the same story 25 times within an 8 hour period? I do. :) In a 25X25 room. Love this job!

Sunday, May 13, 2012


It continually fascinates me how we as dispatchers (and officers) tend to live in these parallel universes. We co-exist with the everyday public, celebrate birthdays, holidays and family milestones, same as everyone. However, once we put on our uniform or headset, the world shifts and our view becomes reset. Today is Mother's Day, a day where families all across the country celebrate the Matriarch of the family, some may be bound by blood, others by choice to these women who have shaped their lives, loved and cared for them. Today, I went to the Mother's Service at church then to my parents for dinner. My brother and I purchased the requisite cards and presents (mine was a 9 week old Labrador Puppy, because I was afraid she was getting empty nest syndrome) then changed clothes and was sitting behind a radio by 1500. Now here, barely an hour in, we've had multiple calls referencing custody, exchanges, and arguements. It's as though this is the parallel universe's way of celebrating, sad as it may be.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Cats and Dogs

I ran across an old article this morning from After rereading it for probably the 5th time, I finally realized that my department doesn't suffer from this problem in the typical sense, but rather any animosity is generated from the Dispatch department. If Dispatchers are cats and Police Officers are Dogs (just an example) you would expect the typical relationship - except it doesn't exist. I'm not saying they are all perfect angels who don't get rude on the radio or play 20 questions, asking for information that you've already provided or would have had you had it, but overall, they behave themselves pretty well. The problem lies within dispatch. They purposely try to throw each other under the bus, whether it be fellow dispatcher or officer and basically act like overgrown middleschoolers. It's mind blowing to me that people who are responsible for lives can act this way. Some days, it's not much better than the unruly citizens we talk to on a daily basis. Just a reminder to departments out there, sometimes you need to fix the internal problems with dispatch before their attitudes become costly.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Being A Good Soldier

I suppose when one works in Emergency Services or Law Enforcement Communications, schedule changes and switcharoos shouldn't come as too much of a surprise. I've always prided myself in being easy-going and flexible, however the changes that occurred last week almost pushed me over the edge. Even as I write that last line I laugh, mostly because it was mostly me being cranky and being subject to changes that weren't my own idea. I do have a little problem with cooperativeness, (just see my quarterly evaluation ;)). To say that my apple cart has been upset is putting it mildly...but I'm being a good little soldier and making the best of an irritating situation. I came back from vacation to find myself placed on a new shift with new hours and new partners. I've been a morning/night/hoot shift dispatcher since I started this adventure 3 years ago and moving to 1500-2300 has been a little bit of a challenge. Of course there's all kinds of backstory that is unique to every department, I may or may not have been replaced on my shift with dispatchers who shouldn't be dispatching...just saying! I'm making the most of my new shift, enjoying the propensity for ridiculousness that occurs :)

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Journey of Fit

Like everyone, I hate swimsuit season.

Mostly because unlike a lot of people, I spend a lot of time sitting at a desk typing and answering phones. (occasionally it varies) This year I decided I was going to head off the summer blues by being pro-active and hitting the gym hard.

So far, it's had the opposite effect, my butt seems to have grown at least a couple of pant sizes...

Between the Krav Maga and the 5 miles a week I'm running I should be in tip-top shape by the time summer gets here with it's dreaded swimsuit season!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

To Act...or Not to Act

Probably a Dispatcher's worst nightmare.
Citizen calls and reports an officer in trouble.

You know where he is, you know someone is close, but it still doesn't keep your heart from plummenting to your toes.

But thankfully, this is not one of those which ends badly, everyone will go home at the end of shift, and in one piece.

Thank you public for doing the right thing this time. If only there were more who would act instead of turning a blind eye.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Has anyone ever tried to reason with an irrational pissed off person? I understand that generally in this business most people aren't really being rational to start with but, there's always that chance that they are at least in full control of their mental faculties.

My question is, how does one handle an individual who is not in full control mentally, i.e. dementia or Alzheimer's and try to explain to them that there's nothing we can do?

Had a dear old gentleman last night who posed just such a challenge. He's in his 70's, a Vietnam vet and has dementia. He was understandably irate, yet he wasn't capable of being allowed to do what he wanted. I had no answers for him and it broke my heart just a little. But, it also made me think, can I handle that part of being a police officer? Can I make those calls with full faith that I'm making the right decision? It's something to ponder for me definitely.

I'm heading into days off, everyone stay safe and keep up the good work!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The white elephant.

Sometimes I like to combine metaphors. Emperors clothes and white elephants, things that need addressing but everyone ignores. Somewhere a power that be in our department decided there was a need for twice monthly meetings. I'm all for this if they would actually accomplish something. Otherwise the troublemakers continue to cause trouble and the followers still follow and the peacemakers still keeping getting their butts handed to them. It's a vicious cycle. Until yesterday.

I have more faith in my Lieutenant than ever before, sad I know. But maybe things may be changing for the better. It's going to be an interesting journey because I know he will be held to his word and I wonder if he's prepared for the consequences.

Monday, March 12, 2012


Some days I would love to just throw in the towel; tell college "I'm out, I've had enough".

The 12 hour shifts coupled with 5 days a week of classes which equal days of little to no sleep has definitely taken a toll on me, both physically and mentally. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, however I don't know if April 20th can get here soon enough! After that, only 18 hours left to knock out then I can check off that Bachelor's degree from my bucket list.

I know, I'm mid-20's and have a bucket list, stranger things happen :)

It's early March, spring is starting to make an appearance, as are tornados.
So everyone out there, get your emergency kits together, don't forget batteries, water, (toliet paper)... you know, all the essentials!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Tell me again...

How do some people manage to survive infanthood?

I'm not a fan of Daylight Savings Time, mostly because I sleep during the day, but if it gives people to reason to ask more dumb questions then I'm game.

Friendly townsfolk: Can I ask you a question?
Friendly Dispatcher: Of course.
Friendly townsfolk: Will the time change change if we have school on Monday?
Friendly Dispatcher: ..... I don't believe it will affect it at all.
Friendly townsfolk: Okay, thank you.


Friday, March 9, 2012

Enchilada Recipe

It's sad...I needed to post an update so I could add a recipe :)

For the sauce, depending on the size or amount, 10 and less should be as follows:

1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup
1-2 Cans of Rotel Diced Tomatos and Green Chiles (drained)
1/2 Cup of Sour Cream
Combine this in a bowl and season generously with your choice of seasonings.
I normally use, Chili Powder, Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, Garlic Powder, Tony Chachere's Blackening Spice or Creole Spice, Salt and Pepper.

For the chicken, I tend to cook it a little differently. I take a large pot and fill with hot tap water, (think dishwater too hot)
I then add 1/2 cup of chicken broth and the aforementioned seasonings to the water, let the water set for a few minutes, it shouldn't ever boil, then add your frozen chicken breasts to the water. This sounds unusual, but they don't get tough and they absorb all the seasonings.

When they are fully cooked, remove and let cool. When cool, shred and wrap in your choice of flour or corn tortillas, sprinkle with leftover chicken, some cheese, pour the sauce over, layer with more cheese and bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes.