I walk into dispatch at 1700 hours (5pm).  It’s moderately busy, but not bad.  I sit down at Channel 1, and prepare for my shift.  The first hour or so is not bad, I get my shift rostered, tell various Sargents about pending calls, and generally settle in for 5 to 7 hours of radio.

It didn’t take long for the fan to be hit.

A passerby discovers a man down in an orange grove, and we start deputies and medical aid for what we first assume is an inebriated pedestrian that has wandered into the orchard.  Once deputies get there however, it becomes much more.  When the deputies get on the radio and ask you to “expedite” the ambulance, twice, you know something’s not right.  Turns out the man down had been assaulted rather violently with a blunt object to the head, and was in bad shape.  He had to be airlifted to Fresno for trauma care.  I haven’t heard how he’s doing.

It appears he may have been assaulted someplace else, and dumped in the orchard.  This kind of situation calls for detectives, crime lab, and patrol deputies to maintain a perimeter.  That means those deputies are not available for calls, and sure enough, it goes nuts in their beat areas!

Fights, loud music, fights, burglaries, fights, loud music…  the calls start stacking up.  At one point I had 15 calls pending, and would have had many more, but I was able to consolidate about 8 into one, since they were all about the same loud music complaint.  We eventually got to most of them, after calling some folks back and asking if they would be able to call tomorrow, since it was going to be after midnight before we had units available to respond.

We pulled a deputy from another sub-station area to cover, and managed to keep ahead of most in-progress calls.

It went on like this for almost 5 hours.  This is the only real time I stress in my job.  I hate seeing calls stack up and pend forever.  I want calls off my pending screen as quick as possible, and when they just keep coming, it drives me nuts.  Especially when I have to try and dispatch my available units in some order, deciding who’s waited too long, who needs response now, and somehow keep deputies from criss-crossing the beat areas like some crazy pinball icon!

It finally slowed down, we got the scene secured, crime lab did it’s thing, and deputies were eventually released back to patrol duties.  Just about the time I got my screen clear, it was time to get off the channel!  My relief had a much easier time during her 7 hours than  did!

And all this on a Monday!  This goes down as my “Monday from Hell”.  I think it’s going to be a long, hot summer.