By Hal Collier, Retired LAPD
Now, I once had a partner who didn’t like the RTO’s. I probably shouldn’t have let him talk on the radio but I was young and it was my turn to drive. We had just finished code-7 (eating) and my tasteless partner clears then burps into the microphone. The RTO professionally thanks us and gives us two calls at opposite ends of the division at EOW(End of Watch). Her revenge!
One night I handled most of Hollywood Division due to low deployment and other units being tied up. I cleared the backlog and requested to eat. After my request, a rape investigation call was broadcast for any Hollywood Unit. I knew I was going to get the call unless another unit cleared. The RTO broadcast the call three times trying to avoid giving me the call. I thanked her and bought the call. The RTO was trying to help me. I worked three hours overtime and didn’t eat that day. By the way, the rape was a prostitute who didn’t get paid.
As a sergeant in Hollywood, I often was asked to give new RTO’s in training a ride along. I gave them quite an eye-opener. I would first drive them up through the nicest neighborhoods and point out which celebrities lived where. Then I would show them the seedy side of Hollywood. Some couldn’t keep their mouths closed, not from talking but from AH! Last, I would drive by where the drag queens were parading the streets of Hollywood. The most common comment I heard was they look better than some women. I reminded them that from a distance in the dark, yea, but as the night wears on the 5 o’clock shadow appears and you’ll notice that they have stuffed a size 10 foot into a women’s size 7 open toe shoe!
Not all dispatchers were great at what they did night after night. We all have some bad nights but when it comes to officer safety, you have to be professional.
Next I’ll give some examples of the lazy dispatchers. Hal