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Dispatchers unsung heroes of city safety

I hope everyone remembered to drive 15 mph in school zones when students returned to class Monday.

If we look at Boulder City Police Department as a human body, one could say all parts of the body are needed to have a healthy running organization. There is one part of our organization that sometimes gets overlooked, but it is part of the front lines. Who is it? BCPD dispatch.

Our dispatch center is amazing. Not only do they tell us where to go, these ladies perform under great pressure. Think about it. In the last 12 months they’ve dispatched approximately 22,346 calls for service. That doesn’t include the issues handled in the lobby or over the phone that do not require police or fire response.

In a perfect world, our dispatch center is staffed with two dispatchers around the clock. However, due to uncontrollable or unforeseen events, many times there is only one dispatcher on duty. They handle the 911 calls, lobby and regular phone calls, and any other phone calls you can imagine.

And these calls are the ones coming in.

Think about the calls they need to make to other jurisdictions to confirm warrants, or to other departments regarding electrical or water issues. That’s a whole heck of a lot of phone time. As Verizon says, “Can you hear me now?”

I just wanted to say from us guys and gals in blue, thanks dispatch — you’re sort of like the brains of the organization. Hold on, what am I saying? OK, maybe part of brain.

Let’s get ready to role!

“Control, 269, we are ready for the first call, and please take it easy on us, we speak highly of you.”

Sunday, Aug. 18, officers responded to an intoxicated male south of the junior high. The inebriated subject first tells officers he was beat up at a local bar. Then the roller coaster ride changes direction and he now advises someone stole his prescription. Dispatch receives a call from him about giving his significant other the prescription. Funny what alcohol can do to some people.

On Monday, Aug. 19, officers discover an accident in front of McDonald’s. An unknown vehicle failed to follow the no-left-turn sign. Believe it or not, the driver made the left turn and, in the process, ran over the sign. Officers search the area for the vehicle, but it left without a trace.

Tuesday, Aug. 20, officers get dispatched to the area of Avenue C regarding an assault involving a knife. Officers find a couple, who were apparently “role playing” with a knife. However, the female’s throat was cut by male. The female went to the hospital and the male went to jail. Role playing with a real knife is never a good idea.

On Wednesday, Aug. 21, a caller reports a male subject is in a home near Wyoming Street. The subject is taking a shower. Small problem; the home should be vacant. Officers arrive and make contact with the suspected burglar. After some investigation and confirmation, the male subject was the homeowner’s son. Great job by the neighbor for being vigilant.

Thursday, Aug. 22, officers arrive in the area of Date Street regarding a disturbance. A husband and wife were arguing. Not a huge deal. Add alcohol, and it’s never good. Officers determine no physical violence occurred. The incident was cleared as a verbal disturbance.

On Friday, Aug. 23, a reckless driver is stopped near Fairway Drive and Georgia Avenue. After making contact with the driver, the officer sees all the telltale signs of a DUI. After failing the Standardized Field Sobriety Test, the 18-year-old driver is arrested for DUI. Not a good way to start out adulthood.

Saturday, Aug. 24, a person reports a female is knocking at the front door and will not leave. Officers arrive off Harbor View Drive but the female is gone. About 10 minutes later the same female is at an eatery downtown harassing someone. Officers arrive but she’s again left the area. A short time later she’s back at Harbor View and this time officers make contact with her. Apparently, she was attempting to pick up her child, who child protective services took away from her, giving custody to the father. She was trespassed without incident.

Is that it? Time flies when you’re having fun. Until next week, be safe and get ready because Boulder City High School football is back. Go Eagles!

Officer Jeffrey Grasso is a 10-year veteran of the Boulder City Police Department. He previously served as a police officer in south Florida for four years.

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