Thursday, July 22, 2010

Unit History Fun

0359  *MISC   ,
Cowen Park clear.... sprayed a lil OC on a skunk.... turnabout is fair play.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Things I love about my job

I feel I've been a little bitchy of late, so I thought I'd give ya'll a light-hearted list of all the things I love about this job.

The "ding-ding-da-ding" of the MDC announcing a call. I love hearing it come across the radio as a unit answers a hail. I've been doing this five years and I still smile and think "I did that."

Being perversely chipper at 0600. If they don't drop the phone, I wasn't happy enough.

Cleaning up my status board. I hate shit that blinks at me. If you sit on a call long enough, you will blink at me. See also: hunting down wayward ducklings.

Decontaminating my console at the beginning of the shift. I like knowing it's clean.

My beginning of the shift log off list. I go through my district roster and make a list of everyone that should already be logged off or will be going off duty in the course of my shift. Leads to sometimes funny conversation. "What time are you done tonight?"  "Why, you want to go to dinner?"

Hunting down wayward ducklings. This involves calling station to make sure they completed prisoner transport, sometimes embarrassing them via radio into telling me they are in fact on scene at a hot call, and not allowing them to sit on a call for an obscene amount of time. See also: cleaning up my status board.

Being the information czar. Do this job long enough and you too will be able to find the number for the albino horse and albatross rescue in two clicks, have the White House switchboard and number to the local crisis agency memorized (yes, they are related items-- if you doubt me you haven't had sufficient crazy person exposure), know the address of every problem bar in your jurisdiction, and remember the APB message number associated with that suicidal jackass you entered and cancelled in the same night last week (who, by the way, is off his meds and on the run again).

Doing that weird memory thing that freaks out my cops. I remember tags from stops two weeks ago, the occasional drivers license number, and dates of birth. See also: information czar.

Knowing without being told. Don't get me wrong, I don't ever like it when an officer is in trouble. But I like having experience enough to know that if his radio is clicking a certain way; he's fighting, that if he gives out a traffic stop with too much information; he needs another car, and if he keys up and the engine suddenly revs; I need to pull up the traffic pursuit command mask NOW.

Being the voice of reason. Calming down an upset cop is a zen skill.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Act 64: Narcotics 
See also: six-four, title 35, and the preference of my favorite red-haired Corporal: hop head complaint. 

Usage: "Two-two sam thirty, change this traffic stop to an Act 64 and send me a hook."

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Pissin' Off State Troopers Is What Sassy Dispatchers Do Best

Typing this entry alternating my free hand between a beer and a bowl of coffee ice cream, so, that should tell how my night was-- let's dive right in.

0600 hours:  after a standardly busy but not unordinary Friday night and one of our boros has a home invasion involving a gun. I'm not working the district handling the incident, I'm working the backup position-- arranging regional response (including the state police) and making sure the correct information goes out over all the districts. The closest state police barracks is made aware of the incident and the very nice dispatcher on the phone tells me she's sending a car.

A few minutes later the state police hotline rings and I pick it up:

SP: Hello Willowdale Barracks [chipper, as per my 0600 manifesto]

A Trooper, who I'm going to call Not The Dispatcher on account of his piss poor attitude starts in on me:

NTD: I need the phone number for the boro Sgt. 

SP: He's in the middle of a robbery, what do you need?

NTD: [annoyed] Yeah. I know. I have, like, five cars going. 

SP: Okay, what do you need? 

NTD: I need to know where he wants us to respond to. 

SP: Stand by, I'll have his dispatcher ask.

NTD: [muted on his end, but not quite enough he unleashes a string of expletives describing my work ethic, and possibly something about my mother.]

*unreadable radio transmission from the OIC*

SP: Hang on, we didn't hear that. 

NTD: [now making NO effort to cover the receiver on his end he starts to question my dispatch skills. This is war.]

SP: Yeah. I can still hear you. 

NTD:  Yeah and  I'm waiting! 

SP: [gleefully]  The OIC is advising he has enough cars already - but if you'd like to respond to the general area, that's fine. *click*

A couple notes here. Under no circumstances do I, or anyone else in my comm center give out officer cellphone numbers. We don't care if it's God calling, it's not done.  Even if we did, I am not giving out an officer's personal number so you can call him in the middle of a hot call to ask where he wants your cars. That's what the dispatcher is for. Having the dispatcher coordinate it also ensures that most of the other units in the area hear where your cars are responding to, so we can avoid, what is called in the most technical of terms: a cluster fuck.  I'd also like to think he'd like the cellphone hand free for his gun, but that's just me.

Trooper Not The Dispatcher calls back a short time later and my partner picks up the phone. He wants my name. Names, in addition to personal phone numbers, are something we don't give out. She gives him my badge number and boy is he pissed. Hotline rings again 30 seconds later and I pick up, now he wants my supervisor. Instead of just being sort of smug that I stuck it to an asshole trooper, I'm doing my Christmas Morning Dance in anticipation of my supervisor having my back, so I practically sing for him to pick up the Willowdale hotline.

In the end, my supervisor nicely and calmly told NTD to go pound sand. Your intrepid blogger finishes her beer and ice cream, reflects upon how nice it is to have a supervisor that stands up for you, and wonders if troopers are (mostly) universally assholes because they wear the hat too tight.

Monday, July 12, 2010

I have an unhealthy obsession with being overly chipper on the phone in the vicinity of 0600. I especially like to strike at departments calling in to log on duty. Two cups of coffee and caller ID is quickly becoming a grizzled old cop's nightmare:

"Goooooooooooooooooooood morrrrrrrrrrrrrniiiiing Anytown PD!"

"Jesus Christ!"  *phone drops*

[a moment later after recovering]: Yeah. We're here. Log  us on.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The officers are my children,
And I am the mother constantly yelling
I only have two hands!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Cat

Dispatch out Officer Big Bald and Manly for injured cat after a traffic incident.

Initial text in his history reads:
Arrived and saw that cat was severely injured. Cat was put down and discarded in township dumpster.

MDC message follows a split second later:
Went to put the cat down and it lifted its head and meowed at me. Wtf.

Final text in incident history reads:
Cat was dropped off at vet with information on where it was found. Vet stated she would try and save the cat. Clear.


Thus far this weekend, I have received the following overly creative complaints for fireworks:

Too close to the house (nothing on fire)
Sparks shooting over the street (nothing on fire)
Excessive fireworks
Loud fireworks
Excessively loud fireworks
I don't know the people setting off the fireworks
I know the people setting off the fireworks, but I don't like them
The people setting off the fireworks don't apear to have the appropriate safety equipment nearby

To which nearly every officer has responded with some variation of "it's 4th of July, are you fucking kidding?"