Recently, one of my colleagues told me about an opening for a dispatcher at a local police department. Now, bless his heart, he was trying to help. First, out here...they get zero pay, work crappy shifts, have terrible vacation and sick time accrual, double as security at events, issue trespass notifications, and fill in for the entire county dispatch center as only a 911 call taker. Second, most citizens don't know that cops can't be dispatchers. Why? Well, they suck. It's a hard job. But most importantly, we can't stand it. I want to be on the other end. It gives me anxiety. Plus, if I was dispatching a boob cop to a call, I would want to come through the radio and beat his or her ass. It all adds up to impossible job matching. I was greeted with deer in the headlight looks. It may very well be an issue only cops and dispatchers can understand. We are both passionate about it.
I have also been asked if I miss the job. I do. Daily. I miss the roar of a Hemi when you put your foot in it to jam across town at night to a hot call or run code. I miss turning on two wheels. I miss going 140 mph on the interstate. I miss going slow at night with my window down and my rap on low, eye balling every inch of your neighborhood for criminal activity or something amiss. I miss the song of my people in the ghetto. I miss sliding to a stop and exiting gracefully, making a grand entrance with command presence. I miss the kids who looked up to me and beamed with hope that the good guys were there to save the day. I miss my old people who made efforts to chat when I was patrolling their neighborhood as I strolled by on a mid-day walk. I miss the smell of fall in Wyoming and crisp mornings where that one moment in time the city was at peace. I miss the camaraderie, the blue bond, and the trust that if shit goes bad ten fast ten hurry, we have each other's backs. I miss the sick humor. I miss laughing at the craziest crap in America. I miss fucking up at the range and getting scolded by my sergeant. I miss asking forgiveness instead of permission. I miss giving a kiddo 5-10 bucks for a 50 cent glass of the best pucker lemonade. I miss jousting in the park and sledding in the winter hoping I don't wipe out some nice kid in the process. Most of all, I miss standing tall in a well pressed uniform and problem solving even the dumbest shit.
But, times have changed where administrations do not support or provide for their troops. It's dog eat dog. The public eats cops for lunch and even the steadfast seem to waiver in their support. Thank God for the die hard cop lovers. I don't know how cops today hack it without losing their shit at times when the nonsense goes down. One thing society forgets is most cops eat their own when they are corrupt. They don't like bad cops either.
And they are tired. Tired of being the whipping boy. Let's move on, shall we?
So, yes, I miss some of those things, but no, I will not go back. My prime time is over.
And no, I will not be a dispatcher because you get in big bad trouble if you say fuck over the radio.