Friday, June 25, 2010

Say What?!

Our local government, in all its collective wisdom, publicly announced the reason there will be additional employee lay offs is because the local officers association refused to concede to furloughs and that money would have saved several government jobs.


The way I understand it, and I have an inside track, the local officer association actually offered other suggestions and concessions that would have saved the local government tens of thousands and practically offered an interest free loan to help through the transition.

But the hang up for the government leaders was the unwillingness of the officers to take furloughs. Though the local officer association suggestions would save the local government more money in the long run.

Oh yeah. These government leaders really know how to take care of their citizens safety and pocketbooks. And show their support of their local law enforcement.

Wonder if citizens can do a McChrystal to these local government leaders?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Returning to Work

After almost 12 days away from this hell hole, I returned to everything the same. Except with now less people to carry out the work.

Tired of hearing we should be glad we have a job when others are getting laid off. If those in charge had been doing their jobs in the first place we wouldn't be in this financial crisis and having to release people from work who actually work.

Notice all the upper division jobs are still intact. How nice for them. They may actually have to work now that their support staff is all gone.

And our poor citizens are being asked to become volunteers and learn how to do fingerprinting and write reports to take reports from other citizens like vehicle burglaries, graffitti, etc. Can only imagine the court cases and their testimony in court. See this volunteer, in his 80's, saying he just wanted to help the police and live out his childhood dream of being a cop, and though the fingerprint cards might be a little smeared they matched other cards from other similar crimes and ain't it a hoot that he got to be a real crime fighter.

And what's this crap about just taking one call at a time? Seeing all those calls waiting for answering can drive me crazy. And the callers get more stupid and more stupid. Am so tempted to point out how stupid and ridiculus the caller is being.

Summers mean additional calls for service. The heat really brings out the crazies. And I am expected to put in more hours.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Canidate for Mother of the Year

Actually had to wait a few days before posting this one.

Seventeen year old calls in tears. Mom has locked her out of the house, again. She went to friends house who sheltered her so she could stay in school. Mom knows where she is at.

Apparently Mom kicked out daughter because daughter told Mom about Mom's boyfriend making inappropriate comments and keeps invading her personal space and so far just touching her shoulders and neck. Mom says daughter is lying and just trying to make trouble. So kicked her out.

The important boyfriend has a criminal history and is a sexual predator registrant.

Okay, clearly he is a catch and her daughter is not worth the effort.

The hardest thing about the phone call was I couldn't give her any real help. Mom can call her back at any time because the girl is not yet of legal age. School is coming to close and talking to the counselor gave her the phone number to a support group. Father is deceased and maternal grandmother more afraid of her daughter, the mother to the young girl.

It seemed so wrong that I couldn't tell her to stay away as best she can. Start organizing other homes willing to offer shelter until her 18th birthday. Wish I had asked when that was happening. Wish I could have offered her the shelter of my own home.

Wish I could have done something to help this girl. There are times when this job really sucks.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Gall of Some People

Okay. This blog was created as a means to express the ups and downs of the public safety dispatching job. And ever so often it is a single phone call that just makes you sit back in your chair and wonder about the gall of some people.

Female calls up screaming mad that her daughter's school is refusing to allow the child's father (her husband) to attend their daughter's junior high school graduation.

Further questioning reveals the following:

Father has been arrested for assault on school grounds to school staff and damage to school property. In fact, he has an outstanding warrant for those very charges.

Okay ma'am. So you're wanting the school to basically reward his past bad behavior, on the very school grounds that he created this problem, so he can watch his daughter graduate from junior high school? And you know he has this warrant that is over a year old?

Her reply, minus the dramatic sighs, high volume and lack of non-cursing verbal skills, was the school was being rude and unprofessional and it wasn't right. She even suggested to the school that they just have their daughter graduate within the first half hour and he could leave.

Clearly this woman is living in la-la land to think a school is going to totally rewrite the agenda for the graduation ceremony to accommodate a man who has little self-control and a lack of ownership to his bad actions by not handling the warrant.

The kicker to this story? The female caller has her own outstanding warrant for..... drum roll.... assault and vandalism.

Sensitivity Training

If you do this job for very long, you really lose the ability to be sensitive and feel empathy for many of the callers and citizens. Not all of the people who call in are waste of breathing room on the planet. Some really are victims of others greed and stupidity. They are worthy of our heart-clenches and quick intakes of breath.

But it is those other callers that I want to rag about.

I have a wonderful manicurist. Part of the reason we have had a client relationship that has evolved into friendship over many years is partially because she is a former police dispatcher. Yes, some dispatchers actually leave the headache inducing - stomach clenching - despair rendering job and find very self-satisfying work away from the trauma and drama of daily public safety dispatching work. She has become a great sounding board who truly understands the ups and downs of the job. She can commiserate.

Our last time together we were talking about how I have lost so much of my empathy over all these years of listening to doom and gloom and horror. It isn't a "something" a person can find in lost and found. It isn't a "something" one can hold or wear like a piece of jewelry. I feel the loss inside. Am aware of the loss of the "piece" because I know there was a time when I felt the need to help those who needed it or wanted it. Don't have the need any more.

She shared with me the phone call that got her assigned to sensitivity training.

A victim of domestic violence was calling 9-1-1 for help. Suspect was outside the door and she didn't know what to do. As this was not the first time the victim has been beat up or the first time she has called in for help, my manicurist - then dispatcher - simply told her, "Don't open the fucking door. He can't get in and hurt you if you don't open the fucking door for him."

I'm hearing this story, raising my mental fist going "rah rah", and recognizing the desire to replicate her response to some of my callers. Okay, truthfully, to many of my callers.

Sadly, as our phone calls/work is recorded, it was brought to the attention of the supervisor and sergeant about her response to the woman's pleas on what to do. The smile of the sergeant was hard to hold back apparently as he listened to the call, again, with the former dispatcher. The supervisor gave a huge sigh and said that this former dispatcher would clearly benefit from sensitivity training, reminding her that it is not her job as a call taker to offer such, aww, direct solutions to domestic situations.

How many of us dispatchers / call takers / officers haven't wanted to utter those words of advise? Raise your hands.

Sometimes the stupidity, only word I can think of besides the multiple words of their tunnel vision thinking, to describe our citizens, just doesn't compute with me. And listening to their whines and acquiesce to their surroundings and situations without backbone and conjones to work for more and better just boggles this above average IQ'd person.

To the men and women who accept verbal and/or psychological and/or physical abuse from their partners...

"Don't open the fucking door. You can't get hurt if you don't open the fucking door and let them in."