From 2011 to 2015, I was a dispatcher for the Lubbock Police Department. It was honestly the hardest job I ever loved.

Answering 911 calls, dealing with emergencies of every imaginable kind, dispatching officers, and ensuring the safety of those officers, all at the same time, are just SOME of the things that 911 dispatchers do every day. Then, add mandatory overtime, shift work, stress, and finding a way to get to work no matter how frozen the roads get in the winter time. 911 dispatchers are "essential" personnel. That means they must go to work no matter what.

There were several calls that went into my 'I'll never forget that one!' mental file, but the call that stands out to me the most as a 911 dispatcher was a domestic assault call that came in.

The female called 911, and then set the phone down. I listened to her get beat over and over and over for what seemed like hours, feeling helpless as we worked quickly to try and get the coordinates from her cell phone. We did eventually locate, her but she refused to press charges. You just don’t forget something like that.

Photo courtesy of Tracy Moore Photography
Photo courtesy of Tracy Moore Photography

As we observe National Telecommunicators Week (April 8-14), I want to personally and publicly honor those of you on the other side of the phone.

Often, the magnitude of what you do is soon forgotten by the caller and community as you move on the next call. But I know that some of those calls will never be forgotten by you.

Thank you for what you do, thank you for your service, and thank you for being there for us when we call for help.

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