Monday, December 29, 2008

Dispatchers Becoming Officers

As I have been around in the dispatching world for more than a couple decades (for those of you who don't do math, that's more than 20 years), I have seen several Dispatchers demote themselves to officers for the better pay and less stressful work life. What I have found is that usually they are really great to work with because they understand the intricacies of our job better than an officer who sat for a couple hours during his orientation and/or training.

But there is always that one exception. And the exception is an officer that should never have even been hired on as a dispatcher. Talk about too much 'tude and has the mentality of Cliff from Cheers.

This person started their illustrious career with the City by attending the fire academy but couldn't get hired on by the fire department (have heard the rumors why but since I can't substantiate won't list them here). Then applied as a Dispatcher but from day one talked about all their knowledge about the fire department. At the time we dispatched fire and police so naturally the person knew more about how dispatching fire calls should go and everything that was happening and felt the need to share all that information. Constantly.

When this person got accepted into the police academy many of us started groaning. The person worked part time in dispatch so they could keep paying their bills while attending the academy. But was always cranky and full of lectures of how calls should be handled, by Dispatch and officers.

When the person actually got hired as an officer the groans in Dispatch got very loud. Several of then approximately 70 dispatchers said they would not be working the radio channel when that person was working patrol. And this morning was the example of why their former fellow dispatchers felt this way.

Was telling the radio dispatcher (me) what the complaint taker dispatcher should be asking the reporting party who said someone was trying to break into their house, wanting descriptions of the suspects and then got rude (dripping with a big 'tude) when told the reporting party was whispering because they were frightened and didn't want to look out the window or even leave their bedroom until they knew a police officer was on scene. "Then how does the RP know someone is trying to get in?" Excuse me? How I wish I could reach through the radio to hit the specific officer up against the side of the head.

So attention to you Dispatchers thinking of increasing your paycheck by swearing in as an officer. Remember your former co-workers do know what to ask and how and isn't trying to keep any information from you. Surely, you remember just how busy it gets and how difficult it is at times to get information from reporting parties. So drop the 'tude and let's get on with our business.


Gia's Spot said...

OMG.. It is so nice (sorry) to hear this happens in other departments not just ours!! Don't despair, God knows what sector to set the alarms off in!!

Cst KO said...

You won the Best Police Dispatcher

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