One of my main motivations that keeps me fighting for my company ever single day, unfortunately, is the hope that I will be able to resign from being a police dispatcher. Some ask me why would I want to give up dispatching; which CAN provide a solid, secure lifestyle; for a dream that doesn’t have the same type of security….The answer is….well there are many reasons why….thought I would share a few, so people understand where I am coming from, and how I am making the transition from this profession into an apparel entrepreneur.
I have been a police dispatcher since Spring 2009, and the areas I provide assistance for are some of the heaviest crime-ridden areas of St. Louis County, and just outside of St. Louis City. If you follow my tweets on my @PDispatcherSTL, you can see the continuous headlines I post of shootings, murders, pursuits, burglaries, robberies, domestic assault, drunk drivers….. daily. Due to its sheer volume, I don’t post a lot of what takes place in these areas anymore, simply because it would severely depress people who need hope verses non-stop crime updates.
I see myself as a very compassionate and empathetic person, even to complete strangers…it’s really weird, but I do. With dispatching, you have to become desensitized, most people do over time, and those who don’t or can’t, it tends to stick with them for a very long time… if not…. for life. Most of my calls, are things you would expect to hear about in an action-drama-thiller Hollywood movie, but it’s not. It’s real, and it concerns me to see that crime is claiming more lives, all the while, suspects are getting younger and younger…truly frightening to me.
I don’t want to have to detach my emotional mind and sensitivity in order to maintain this profession. My fault….. is that I care VERY much, to the residents that are stuck in between this war with police and some of the worst criminals I have ever heard of (ie: gang members, murders, those who do nothing more than live to victimize other people) My heart breaks for these TRUE victims every time they call me for help.
Most people get in to law enforcement for the “adrenaline rush” it can give you when you have a big call — major crimes, felony crimes. Others, want to help, like myself, but regardless of the motives of getting into this line of work either as a dispatcher or a commissioned officer, it is never easy, and if you are a bit more emotionally sensitive than others (empathetic) :::raising hand in admittance::: this type of work can and will hit you much harder.
In the three short years I have been a dispatcher, I can’t count how many screaming voices I’ve heard, how many mother’s have called my lines hysterical because their 15 year old child had just been shot…. simply because his neighborhood is infested with gangs. Not even involved with those responsible for the shooting and not the intended target. I will never forget what those voices sound like. No one does, and once you have been exposed to this side of society, you definitely look at society from a different view. Yes…..you do get the reward of helping a lot of people, and protecting the officers….you help to save lives, but the major downside is you sacrifice your emotional and mental state of mind.
All-in-all this profession is beginning to wear down my emotional optimism.
I am very happy that I have had this experience to take with me, but I am very much looking to close this chapter in my life, and beginning the next one!