Dispatchers are a crucial part of law enforcement and those of you who are working the streets certainly understand it is the dispatcher who is your life line. Some ole timers call them our ” umbilical cord.” Why? Well, again those of you who are working the streets know the dispatcher is your line of communication. It is imperative you give dispatchers the up most respect as they could likely save your life in just about any situation. Now then, over the years working in a small agency to a large agency I’ve seen a lot of cops, “take it out” on the dispatcher. In my mind that is a big no no and can tell you to get over it, whatever it is. Yes, there are times where the dispatcher may get cranky or may just be having a bad day, again I say to get over it.
Why? Well, simple our dispatchers deal with the same people they’re sending us to go visit and they’re treated badly most of the time and have to endure major stress day in and day out just like any cop would. In fact, dispatchers are faced with life and death situations often and they really don’t need any officer stressing them out any further. The dispatcher has your back but you have to treat them with respect and understand their everyday stress, you do not have to agree with it, just understand it. It would be unfair to say they do not deserve major support from any and all cops within their respective department. People file citizens complaints regularly against dispatchers and are not treated fairly by the public since the public will likely take it out on them if they’re not happy with you!
Our position is to get you to understand how important their position really is. They just don’t answer the phone and take messages. The dispatcher will take your complaints as well! So, if it were me I would give them the special attention they deserve. Calls dispatched generally are in order and they do not have a choice who gets what call. A lot of officers will call the dispatcher names etc… taking it out on the dispatcher but realistically they do nothing more than fill the call. I remember stopping many dispatchers for minor traffic infractions over the years and I always extended professional courtesy to them without question. Why? Again, simple they’re apart of the police profession and every officer has the discretion whether they issue a citation or not, it’s as simple as that! I realize there are those officers, specifically motor officers who pretend not to care and will give their own mother a ticket but that is nonsense. The fact is they are just being rouge, because really there is no reason to do such a thing. Or, actually, I will correct myself the officers today lack judgement and may issue a citation for going 1 mph over the speed limit. Anyway, you get my point! Our dispatchers are to be respected and trust me they would never do you wrong. Please pass it along to be nice to our dispatchers, and for you ole timers, set the example and train your trainee’s properly. In this way, down the line things will work out great!