I had a really great blog post scheduled for today. It was about scams that plague the writing world. I also have one more New Year, New Book 2016 Author Highlight as well.
So what has stopped me in my blogging tracks? My day job.
The picture above isn’t me, but it’s what I do. That’s right. I’m a dispatcher. I’ve been “manning the desk” for about seven years now and have taken calls as small as a raccoon in someone’s yard to listening to a dying man’s last breath, and everything in between.
Because of the nature of my business, I typically don’t disclose what I do.
But this week, I’ve been a bit on edge. I work for a small county that’s mostly farmland with small villages scattered through it, a county that’s a slightly smaller version of Knox County, Ohio, and sits right next to it. If you’re not familiar, Danville has made national news this week with the shooting and death of police officer Thomas Cottrell. My county is housing the suspect in the building I report to every workday.
I did not know Officer Cottrell, but my heart goes out to his family and his colleagues.
By the time this posts, many of my coworkers will be attending his funeral. A couple may have volunteered to patrol Knox County so that all of their officers can attend, I won’t know until I report to work tomorrow. I’ll be doing my best to take care of the three to five officers working in my county.
All week the same thought has resounded in my head, “That could have been one of my officers; that could have been us.” I work by myself three days of my five day workweek and keep track of between three to seven officers out of three departments, depending on the events of the day. I can tell you something personal about every single one of the officers I work with, and I’ve met their kids, spouses, even pets.
Radios don’t work well in metal framed buildings such as schools, stores, factories, trailers and campers, and police departments. When they’re in these types of buildings, we rely on cell phones for our three minute check-ups. I have a lot of cell phone numbers memorized. The problem is that cell phone service can be just as bad, or the officer may not be in trouble, but can’t answer their phone. Of course, I send someone to check on them, but the system’s not perfect.
Officer Cottrell’s job may have been a police officer, but he was also a husband, father, and son. I wish his family deep condolences, and may his soul rest in peace.
To my first responder family out there (Police, Fire, EMS), please be safe.