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Giving this a shot this year for the fun of it. Apologies if my replies are slow but I'll endeavor to get back to anyone who asks anything.

I previously worked as a 911 dispatcher for nearly 10 years before transitioning to the road, where I've worked as a police officer for the last 6 years. I grew up in a fire department family so I've pretty much been involved with emergency services, in some way or form, since I was 7 years old.

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Hello my friend! ^_^

I appreciate the service you provide for the public. :)

1. At what point in your life did you "know" what you wanted to be when you became an adult?

2. What is the best part of your job?
DarkonDreams Topic Starter

Ultra-Knight wrote:
Hello my friend! ^_^

I appreciate the service you provide for the public. :)

1. At what point in your life did you "know" what you wanted to be when you became an adult?

2. What is the best part of your job?

Thank you :).

1. Probably when I was around 11 or 12. I grew up being used to the odd schedule of shift work so it was never a dissuasion to me. I was always interested in policing more than firefighting though I spent several years as a Fire Explorer learning about the latter. I think I was drawn to the idea of everything being something different; you never quite know what kind of shift you're going to have. It was finalized by high school and from then on I began working towards what I'd need to do to get into the field.

2. Dealing with the little kids, for sure. In between all the (sometimes) blood and guts stuff, little kids still look at you like you're a superhero around here, and interacting with them is a lot of fun. I feel like that's where the most positive relations can begin being built too. We do a lot of local events with the kids like Shop with a Cop or even local sports competitions where they play against us (basketball, dodgeball, floor hockey, soccer, [football for you Europeans out there] etc).
What is harder for you? Being a dispatcher listening to a bad call where you can't help or being apart of that bad call? I work with dispatch and officers but haven't met one who did both so I've been curious about this for a while.
DarkonDreams Topic Starter

PinkBrat wrote:
What is harder for you? Being a dispatcher listening to a bad call where you can't help or being apart of that bad call? I work with dispatch and officers but haven't met one who did both so I've been curious about this for a while.

That's a good one.

Usually... I'm going to go with being on the dispatch side of things. You get the bad call, you want to get over there to help, but the best way to do it is to send the right equipment for whatever the situation is. It can be frustrating. I've been on the phone with some pretty bad ones over the years.

I like being mobile now. If there's a car crash, for instance, I like having the ability to get out there in-person and do what I can. Sometimes there's still not much to be done but I feel like I had more personal options in how the situation was resolved because it was under my direct sphere of influence, if that makes sense? It also makes it easier, if it's a bad one, to know there's really nothing more I could have done to change the outcome beyond having stopped it from happening altogether (which is clearly impossible because I'm not a deity). I think that supports my mental health a little better even if it's more direct interaction with the source.
DarkonDreams wrote:
PinkBrat wrote:
What is harder for you? Being a dispatcher listening to a bad call where you can't help or being apart of that bad call? I work with dispatch and officers but haven't met one who did both so I've been curious about this for a while.

That's a good one.

Usually... I'm going to go with being on the dispatch side of things. You get the bad call, you want to get over there to help, but the best way to do it is to send the right equipment for whatever the situation is. It can be frustrating. I've been on the phone with some pretty bad ones over the years.

I like being mobile now. If there's a car crash, for instance, I like having the ability to get out there in-person and do what I can. Sometimes there's still not much to be done but I feel like I had more personal options in how the situation was resolved because it was under my direct sphere of influence, if that makes sense? It also makes it easier, if it's a bad one, to know there's really nothing more I could have done to change the outcome beyond having stopped it from happening altogether (which is clearly impossible because I'm not a deity). I think that supports my mental health a little better even if it's more direct interaction with the source.

That's a great answer! Thank you for replying :)
I don't really have a question, but want to give a salute to you and all the frontline workers for the wonderful job you all do. Police and Firefighters are usually the first on the scene, and the EMTs and Paramedics have done some exceptional triage work on so many that come through the ER door. That extends to the 911 dispatch who likely get the call in the first place! I could never do it.

Here's a question... what was the best experience you remember from your days as a 911 dispatcher?
DarkonDreams Topic Starter

Dawnia wrote:
I don't really have a question, but want to give a salute to you and all the frontline workers for the wonderful job you all do. Police and Firefighters are usually the first on the scene, and the EMTs and Paramedics have done some exceptional triage work on so many that come through the ER door. That extends to the 911 dispatch who likely get the call in the first place! I could never do it.

Here's a question... what was the best experience you remember from your days as a 911 dispatcher?

Thank you :)

The best experience... in general it was the closeness of the people in the center. We were kind of a weird, dysfunctional family but it was a lot of fun.

If I had to narrow it down to the best call I took, I'd zip back to Halloween night of 2007. I was working the police radio and we took a call for an attack that had just occurred on a walking trail that winds its way through our town. The young woman caller was reporting she'd been out on her usual afternoon jog when some man had leaped out of the bushes and tried to drag her off the trail into the woods. We coordinated really well between the victim's info and the officer's on the road.

End result was a previously convicted sex offender, who was trying to harm her, was arrested instead and sent to prison for 15 years for attempted assault. It always stood out in my mind as a bad call with a really positive outcome.
Fellow police officer here. Just wanted to thank you for your service! If you don’t mind me asking, are you with a city department, county, or state? What is your call volume like?
Kim Site Admin

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by some of the things you hear? What do you do to cope?
DarkonDreams Topic Starter

miarup wrote:
Fellow police officer here. Just wanted to thank you for your service! If you don’t mind me asking, are you with a city department, county, or state? What is your call volume like?

Back at you! I figured there was more than one of us kicking around here :). I'm with a city department in the Chicago burbs which is about as close as I'll narrow it down for safety's sake. Call volume really varies by time of year and shift. Midnights in the winter time, I can be chasing my own tail for a full 8 hours. Summer during the afternoon and it's non-stop call to call. It's hard to predict but definitely more activity in the summer... just in time to sweat half to death in kevlar.
Kim" wrote:
Do you ever feel overwhelmed by some of the things you hear? What do you do to cope?

There's a few calls that have stayed with me over the years more than others. Ones with kids are usually the worst and take a little more time to process. The usual sense of humor a lot of us develop doesn't really apply as well when it's the little guys/gals. When I was a dispatcher, I also took a call for a bad crash where the caller was trapped inside the vehicle, which lit on fire. It didn't have a happy ending. Naturally, the drunk who hit them was uninjured and cognizant enough to try and flee the scene. Responding officers arrested him in short order. That was the one that cemented a zero tolerance for DUI's in me. There's a chaplain service here at the department which is available to us, as needed, but I think the guy running it is a charlatan of the highest caliber so I'd talk to my dog before I talked to him.

I've learned over the years to leave work at work. It's harder at some times than others but I try not to read my work email when I'm off and I try to engage my time in other things. I love being outdoors and being around water. Both are very calming to me... which means I also bear an irrational hatred for mosquitos in the summer here. I read a lot, not as much of a TV watcher but I'll find things on Netflix or Prime from time to time that catch my interest. The Great British Baking Show is a guilty pleasure for sure.

And, of course, there's role-play. Which thanks to the RPR here, is easy to find an avenue for. When I'm not taking forever to respond to my partners, who know who they are and often have to bear with me. So... sorry to anyone still waiting for a post! I haven't forgotten you, I promise.

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