This week is National Telecommunications Week, and our office is asking that you join us in celebrating the many, behind the scenes, who play a crucial role in our public safety.
When you think of a dispatcher, you think of the person who answers the phone when you call to make a report. However, dispatchers are in may ways holding the line between life and death. Our dispatchers at the DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office take calls from those who are in their most vulnerable moments, and most dire situations. At times dispatchers are expected to gather information from understandably agitated people who can't remember where they live, their name, or what they just saw. They are then expected to calmly provide all that information to the officers, firefighters, and paramedics without error the first time, and every time.
We consider our dispatchers highly trained professionals, who are articulate, insightful/discerning, intelligent, intuitive, confident, brave, mature, dedicated people, who are on the front lines of public safety. They are an asset that law enforcement cannot do without. Dispatchers ideally work 6 to a shift, work on 3 to 4 computer screens, navigate two computers, operate the phone and a radio, and monitor televisions reporting severe weather activity…sometimes just to complete just a single event taking place.
To celebrate telecommunications week, our dispatchers have been treated to breakfast, lunch, and supper for each rotation provided by our Sheriff, Chief Blue and Asst. Chief Locke with Mansfield Police Department, as well as their supervisors. Instead of the usual uniforms, this week we have set aside themes for each day in our command center such as Pajama Day, Tiara/King for the day (extra points for ball gowns), ”Tiger King" Day (animal print to the max), Throw Back Thursday, and Team Spirit Day. Just imagine what the call-taker on the other end of the line looked like as they continued to service the public needs this week! Each day they have also been treated to themed snacks: Bags of Chips to show “You are all that and a bag of chips.” York Peppermint Patties for their AchieveMINT, CommitMINT, EncourageMINT, InvestMINT, and InvolveMINT. And so on.
They go by many names from Dispatcher, Call-Taker, to First Responder, but we are thankful that we know them by name and consider each of them family! Thank you for all you do, and we are honored to work alongside each of you to serve and protect the citizens of DeSoto Parish!