I’ve been a dispatcher for 22 years. You’d think by now I could understand any deputy or officer say any name, no matter what.  Well, you might think so, but you’d be wrong.


July 5, 1994 – I start telling cops where to go, and sometimes how to get there

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A few years into my career with the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office.

July 5, 1994  That was the first day I walked into the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office building as an employee.  Twenty one years ago today, I thought “this will be a breeze!”.  Little did I know…


Keep those doggies rollin’

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Tonight we gave Sgt. Whaley a proper radio send-off, as he leaves us to begin a new career as a cattleman in Texas.

Good luck and best wishes in the Lone Star State!


Oh, I didn’t just say that…

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dohI can’t believe I said that to the 9-1-1 caller.  It was unintentional, totally inappropriate, and had everyone in the room in fits of giggles.

Other dispatchers will understand the sometimes dark humor we express in our jobs, and how something that to an outside observer (or the brass) will seem completely humorless, but will have us guffawing and giggling for hours afterwards.  Something like that happened to me yesterday, and it involved a crashed aircraft and it’s pilot stuck on a rockface above a lake.

I really meant it to be reassuring, but it sure didn’t come out that way!


“You did WHAT with your 2 year old???”


I don’t often order people around on 9-1-1 calls.  It’s not my place to tell them what to do, or how to behave.  My job is simply to gather information, and dispatch the appropriate equipment and people to deal with their emergency.  This morning a 9-1-1 call came in that tossed all my training right out the window.  I had to use my “cop voice”, and order someone (and it took several times) to do something.  I really don’t recall the last time I’ve done that.

This morning’s call, however, had me in full “get your ass back home right now!” mode.


Which way did he go, George? Which way did he go?

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Sometimes you just can’t tell who will be able to convey information to you and who will not.  Disregarding folks who are new to an area, or just visiting, there’s still a huge number of people, or so it seems sometimes, who simply don’t know the basics about where they are, and which way is up.

Well, I suppose they can figure out which way is up, but trying to get north, east, south, or west out of them is like pulling those proverbial teeth out of those proverbial hens.  Some folks just have no clue.

Now, they’ll tell us it’s “to the left”, but, really….  that doesn’t help.  Turn around and your “left” is now the opposite direction!  And telling me that it’s now to your right won’t improve the situation!

You guessed it…  another 9-1-1 caller without a clue, calling in on a cell phone.  No idea of the address of the house they live in, no idea which way east is, and unclear on what “get a piece of mail and read me the address” means.

It’s most annoying when they get mad at US for not knowing where THEY are!  I want to reach through that phone and slap them silly.  That’s probably why that particular feature is not activated on our systems.  Part of our job is protecting the public.  Even from us!  😉  Kidding!  (sort of)


A Woman, A Sweaty Horse, and 9-1-1

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From the Archives, August 10, 2008 – “Stupid Drunk Human Tricks”

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I almost titled this one “stupid criminal tricks” but until someone actually gets convicted, I suppose criminal is a bit judgmental….

Here’s the latest story that has us shaking our heads at what people will try to do to get out of trouble. The place and time – State Route 99, south of Pixley, California (in California’s great Central Valley) – about 3am. One of our south county patrol units is driving up 99 towards Pixley, heading back to the Substation. He sees a vehicle displaying all the signs of an intoxicated driver, so he makes a traffic stop. After the normal “license, registration, and insurance” interaction, the deputy gets on the radio and asks to have the CHP dispatched for a drunk driver. I get on the phone and place that call to get them started, when I hear my supervisor pick up a 9-1-1 line, and things start getting interesting…….


You’ll NOT put a towel down on MY floor, by Gawd!

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At least she didn’t call 9-1-1….

But she did call the Sheriff’s Office because her roommate told her she couldn’t put a towel on the floor while she took a shower.  They actually got into a heated argument about it, to the point where shower girl called the cops!  The other half fled before the Deputy arrived, so not much got resolved.  We don’t even know if towel girl got to take her shower,  bare floor or not.


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