Thursday, September 18, 2008

"One-Adam 12, One-Adam 12, see the Man"

If you haven't seen "Adam-12," the police drama, then you won't get the title of this blog. If you remember the TV show, then you'll probably remember the dispatcher's voice alerting the two L.A. cops to report to a crime scene, fast. Either way, click the link to "Adam-12" and watch the video, or at least the first 30 seconds. While the show focuses on the officers, my favorite part was listening to the dispatcher and mimicing what she said. Always a fun time. A news story reminded me of that show and of all the dispatcher job listings I've seen in the past few months.

In a well-written story by reporter Lisa P. White in today's (Sept. 19) Contra Costa Times, she reports on the need for police dispatchers in cities throughout Contra Costa County. Most cities have vacancies because they don't pay enough, unlike Pleasant Hill's Police Department, whose dispatchers earn as much as $73,884 and therefore the department doesn't have any openings.

One thing I noticed right away during my job search was the need for police dispatchers, sales people and computer engineers. All are probably high-pressure jobs, but dispatcher has to be one of the most difficult jobs around, and something I think I'd be good at, but probably not over the long haul. I do well under pressure, especially under deadline pressure, but life and death pressure is another issue.

Two potential conflicts in this post that I should point out, in case they weren't already obvious: I worked at the Contra Costa Times before being laid off in June, and I was proudly the first editor at the Times for Lisa White.

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