Spring is well on it's way to us here in the southern Missouri Ozarks. How do I know this? Easy, work tells me it's so. I had my suspicions last weekend due to the craziness we encountered, but this weekend (and this weekend is just beginning) confirmed my fear.
Being a lowly police/fire dispatcher isn't as bad as one might think most of the time. Ya ya we have to deal with the occasional life threating situation, but as long as you keep your head on your shoulders and don't freak out things go pretty smoothly. Dealing with the disgruntled public, thats another thing that's just part of the nature of the beast. Let them vent, answer their questions and if worse comes to worse, tell them that if they can't be sensible, there isn't much you can do to help them....if all else fails, while they are threating your job hang up on them. Yes it's probably rude, but living in a town of 2,500 people, it's not THAT surprizing if you know the mayor and everyone on city counsel and doesn't mean your THAT important. No we can't tell them that per se, but we certainly aren't expected to put up with verbal assaults over the telephone either because we can't tell them they are being an idiot. Most of the time, our shifts are pretty boring and that's good. Until spring......that's when the unsavory characters start crawling out from under their rocks.....OHHHHH GOODIE. There is an upside to that though. It's an ego boost. You realize that while you have your faults, they could be oh so much worse. Tonight was one of those nights for me most certainly.
Being a Friday night, we (me and my on duty officer) were expecting to have to work. Nothing unusual we've become accustomed to that and actually look forward to it since the rest of our week is usually pretty boring. Now that being said, our night didn't start quite on the note we would have prefered. I got here first as I came in a half hour early so the guy I was taking over for could go home and feed his cows during daylight. There was a note for my night officer from a local manager at a local factory, didn't think too much about it. My officer came in about 15 minutes after I did and I gave him his note and went back to my chatting. After calling the guy that left the message, he left to go do a well being check on a fellow that lives in one of the local slum apartment buildings. The guy hadn't shown up for work the last 4 days and they were getting concerned. Well he went to check, the guy's car wasn't there, no one answered the door when he knocked, no funky odors met him at the door, all seemed well. Nothing more he could do, unless we have pretty good evidence of something hinky going on, we can't go kicking in doors and breaking into personal residences....that pesky 4th amendment prohibits us from that, go figure. I got a call from the officer telling me what he'd found out (or lack of what he'd found) and asked me to call the guy's landlord to see if he knew anything. So I call the landlord and lo and behold nope he's not seen the guy either, but if he happens to come to town he'll go in the apartment to check on the water lines and such and he'll call us to let us know what he finds out. Ok great, that works for me. After finishing that small detail my officer heads home for supper, and I settle in for some chatting and watching the Bud shootout practice on Speed channel. Phone rings.....oh goodie. I answer to which a self important windbag (can't give out names sorry) proclaiming he's being stalked and due to who he is, we know who's stalking him (sadly enough, ya we did) and he wants to get this shit nipped in the bud. So I holler at my officer interrupting his supper to inform him of this fellow's prediciment and he hightails it to the guys location. Upon his arrival both the stalker and stalkee are there. We've dealt with these fine folks for upwards of 2 1/2 years off and on so we know them quite well. And it's always bullshit kinda stuff...former lovers that have it in their heads that the other one is always out to get them or make them miserable in some way, shape or form. Us being the public servants we are, exist to make sure that the other leaves them alone because heaven forbid, they see one another in such a large metropolitan area such as ours. Well my officer informs them they've managed to leave us out of their quabbles for the last 6 months or better, we'd like it to stay that way and in all honesty we're tired of their shit. (All true but not very good for public relations.) We're expecting a complaint to be lodged against him in the morning. All of this and we've not even been on duty for an hour, NOT the way we wanted to start our night as it looms ominous possiblities for the rest of the 11 hours we have to spend together.
Next call.....well before I tell this story I have to give some background so you can truly appreciate how retarded it really is...
There are certain addresses in our fair town that there must be some kind of gasses or something seeping up from under the ground below them. These addresses are magnets for idiots to be quite frank. For the last month we've been dealing with one of these addresses. One of the incidents was that the tenent in the home (it's a rental) was being bothered by her mentally unstable ex husband. Repeatedly we were called over there to shoo him off because he was harrasing her. Then one day, a call to come over there because he's ranting and raving, refusing to leave. Our Chief of all officers was on duty, and goes over there, tells this fella to come on over to the car and the guy threatens to kill our Chief and refuses to put down the weapon in his hand......oh not bright on his part. He does start walking towards the Chief but stops and refuses to come further saying Chief is going to have to bring him in by force. Now mind you, the guy was/is a mental case, but still pretty stupid. After backup arrives the guy surrenders and they bring him in.....just to do a mental health committment on him. The next week another incident.....while working I get a frantic 911 call that there is a guy at that same address that had barged his way in and is getting the shit kicked out of him. I send an officer over and that was an understatement. My officers end up bringing in 3 guys, two in pretty good shape and one that well to be honest....I thought he was black. Don't see many of them in our area as it's a small southern town, still very racist in many ways. Then I notice the guy's arm in my monitor....it's white......WTF? His head is black and his arm is white. I had to know what that was about so I leave my desk to wander down the hallway to the holding area. What I saw there would have been enough to make some chuck their cookies. To say this guy had been beaten was an understatement and the reason he looked black in the monitor....he was completely covered in blood. Not for the squeamish...one of his eyes was swollen shut, his nose obviously broken, various knots forming on his head, some nasty looking lacerations on the top, and side of his head, both lips broken open, and that was just what I could see from 4 feet away. These are the kind of incidents we've been encountering at least every 4-5 days at this address, we're getting kind of tired of it to be honest. Now with these kind of things in mind, read tonights incidents from people associated with this address. First a person that's moving out calls demanding to know why the people moving in were stopped by my officer and told that they were stopped because of living at that address and possible drug activity going on at that address. Ok first, my officer hadn't made any traffic stops at that point, second, even if he had, he's not gonna be telling the people that's why he stopped them. I told her that as far as our shifts, we hadn't done it and I had no idea what that was all about. She was appreciative of the info and we hung up on good terms. Fifteen minutes later another woman calls, this didn't go so well. It was the Mom of the guy that was "accused" of dealing the dope in and out of there DEMANDING to speak to the officer that stopped her boy and his fiancee'. Oy, I go through my spiel all over again and inform her my officer is out on patrol, I'm the only one here. OMG she goes off on me, and while she's raving I'm feeling my ear start to get wet.....ACK........it's oozing through the phone to get me. Great just what I need, to loose more grey matter. I swear my intelligence diminishes just a shade everytime I speak or deal with these kind of people. Luckily once I've been away from them for a bit, it comes back. It's odd, but I swear it's true. Finally she stops for a breath and I ask her for a call back number, I'll have my officer to call her to ease her concerns. After a shocked gasp that I would do that for her, she gave me her phone number and thanked me and hung up. WHEW TG, the end of the phone calls. Luckily that's as far as it went at that address tonight because by the time my officer dealt with that woman, I really think he might have put alot of us out of our misery and just went over there shooting.
At this point, I'm convinced, somebody is out there flipping over rocks and these things are crawling out of their winter hiding spots. I swear it, wish they'd quit flipping over our rocks so they'd quit escaping and we could enjoy our spring that's well on it's way to our fine area.