The Powers of a Police Dispatcher

What I do and what I do not do from a Police Telecommunications Operator: I’m not a secretary, a dating service or a switchboard operator. I do have a sense of humor and can do 10 things at once. These are just a few of the things I wish my officers and...

8. When the computer is down, the computer is down. I do not have a magic network which allows me to make you a card, dispo a call or run someone when your computer is not able to. I cannot do it either. I am not being difficult or lazy. I simply cannot create technological miracles at this time (I am trying. Again, see #5).

9. I probably do not know your friend. Although for some small agencies this might not be true, for me, my agency has over 300 officers. New York PD has some 10,000. So, just because I do not know your neighbor’s brother who works somewhere in my department on some unit or another does not mean that I don’t have awareness. It just means I don’t know every single person that I work with. I attempt to (see #5) but haven’t managed it yet.

10. I do care. I may not sound like it. I am trained to maintain my composure to help you. This often comes across as a dry, inflectionless monotone. After all, would you really like it if I broke down into tears or hysterics right alongside you? I began this profession because I wanted to help people, both citizens and officers. The hours of boredom, or tedious crazy dispatching of call after call after call, alongside the calls where I listen to screaming, crying, shouting, violence, hysterics and dying and essentially cannot do a thing except for wait for officers to get there, has created who I am. I love my job and the people I do it for.

I hope this is helpful for anyone who wanted to know a bit more about what I and the thousands of other 9-1-1 operator/dispatchers do all day and night sitting at our little computer stations…controlling the world.


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