A busy night in dispatch last Thursday.   Sometimes it’s slow, sometimes it’s busy, and some nights it’s just crazy batshit nuts.  Thursday was the lattermost.

A murder always sends us into a frenzy.  First, the 9-1-1 calls start flooding in, everybody within blocks grabs a cell phone and dials.  Most of them have no clue what happened, or where they are, they just scream at us to get the cops there, and why are we asking all these dumb questions??  And EVERY call has to be answered and checked, because we never know when the most important bit of information will come in, or from where.  And in the middle of the chaos, we still have to deal with the normal traffic load, because that doesn’t stop just because someone got shot!  There could be someone else needing an ambulance, or their house could be on fire, or their baby could be choking.  It all has to be handled, right now, and correctly.

Even when…

other things are still going on.  Like:

The crazy cat lady, with hundreds of cats, dogs, birds and other animals stuffed in a smallish country house.  Horses in pastures starving.  Sick, dying, and dead animals inside and out.  Animal control, Ag detectives, and patrol units were at this house for 12 hours or more, trying to sort it all out, and take care of the surviving animals.


A wildland fire in the mountains, in a popular camping and river rafting area.  We had deputies up there, in case evacuationswere required.


the lost teenaged hiker in the mountains, near Sequoia National Park.  No information,  just someone told someone who told us that a 15 year old girl was hiking with family, became separated, and was missing.  It takes us over an hour to get units up there, because it’s so darn far, but we take two valley deputies off routine patrol and send them up into county areas just outside the park.  After we get up there, and finally locate the people involved, we discover the girl was located and returned before we arrived!  We lost over three hours worth of two deputies’ time by this little goose chase.  It turned out well, thank goodness, but it might have had a bad outcome.

That was MY Thursday in a nutshell.  How was yours?

Oh, by the way, lest you get the idea I’m trying to give you the impression I’m some kind of

Superman dispatcher, I’m not.  We are a team operation in dispatch, and everyone there supports everyone else.  Often times the dispatcher operating the radio channel where something is going on has it the easiest.  They don’t have to answer very many phone calls, almost no 9-1-1 calls, and if they need anything, they just call it out to the room,  “I need an ambulance to the Pixley call!” and someone jumps on that and says “I’ve got the ambulance!”.  Someone else calls out “I’ve got fire!” and it’s done.  I could never handle a one-dispatcher operation, and I don’t know how those that work in such places manage it.  We’ve got a great team at TCSO, and I’m lucky to be a part of it.