Postal?

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Photo from Newsweek.com

The other day I was at the station getting ready to go 10-8 when a sergeant broadcasted on the radio that he came across a non-injury collision. About a minute later he came back on the radio saying a postal truck was involved and the parties wanted a report.

He also inquired about another crash involving a postal truck and asked if his call was the same as the other. I didn’t know what he was talking about so I paid attention to the next transmission.

The dispatcher came on the radio telling him there were two separate collisions involving postal trucks. One was at his location and the other was in the western part of the city.

I keyed the mic as I said, “729.”

“729?” the dispatcher parroted back.

“729, confirming the crashes have gone postal?”

The radio was silent for what seemed like forever. It was an awkward silence like when someone farts in an elevator and you can’t wait for the doors to open.

The silence was finally broken as she acknowledged me.

I got into my car and looked at my MDT. There was a message from DSP1 that simply said, “REALLY????!!!”

“I couldn’t resist,” I typed back.

I went to the crash and handled it. About 35 minutes later I was ready to clear the call, but I needed to get on the radio one last time.

“729.”

“729?”

“Are there any other crashes involving postal trucks that are holding?”

“Negative,” came the reply.

My MDT beeped as “MESS” appeared on my screen from DSP1.

What other time am I ever going to say “postal” on the radio twice  in less than 40 minutes? Probably never again.

Sometimes you just have to roll with it and have fun.

 

“Can you let me in?”

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I walked up to the backlot doors of the police department the other day at 4:45AM after a late call. I had my computer and clipboard in one hand and a drink in the other. I also had a shot gun slug over my left shoulder that was slipping as I tilted my body to the side of keep it up.

My building pass was in my left breast pocket and I leaned against the wall so the sensor could beep and unlock the door. The sensor beeped and I pulled on the door handle with my finger tips, but it didn’t open.

I leaned against the wall again and the beep sounded a second time. The door was still locked though. I tried this a few more times, wondering if the dispatchers were watching me on their camera.

In defeat, I finally pushed the call button and asked if they could open the door. After they answered, I turned toward the door and pulled on the handle, but it was still locked. I kept pulling and pulling, but the door just wasn’t going to open.

Now, I knew they were watching me and laughing. That’s when the radio came alive as the dispatcher said, “729.”

I slowly turned toward the camera wondering what was coming next. I keyed the mic and replied, “729.”

“729, are you Code 4?”

I smiled and shrugged my shoulders at the camera as I replied, “I’m code 4,”

I eventually got in and laughed all the way down the hall at my door experience. Now that was funny.

“Is traffic available?”

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“Is traffic available?”

Sometimes I’ll be busy on something at work when a crash goes out and a patrol officer gets dispatched to it. Most of the time the officer answers the radio for the call and responds to it.

Every once in a while a patrol cop will get the call and the first thing out of their mouth is, “Is traffic available?”

Obviously the traffic unit wasn’t available. If they had been the dispatcher  would’ve sent them in the first place.  It’s not like the dispatcher was trying to hide the traffic unit and not use them. Of course, they would’ve sent them had they been available.

Just go to the call.

There could be any number of reasons why I or my partners weren’t available at the time.

I could’ve been sitting on the toilet playing Candy Crush. I could’ve been on another call, or on a car stop (not too often). I might’ve been report writing or on lunch.

The other night I was working a patrol spot instead of my normal traffic shift when I did something I’ve always wanted to do. I was driving down the street when I heard my patrol call sign called out over the radio by dispatch.

“326.”

“326.” I replied.

“326 and unit to back.  901, vehicle into a block wall,” the dispatcher said. 901 was the radio code for traffic collision with unknown injuries.

I keyed the microphone and said, “326. Is traffic available?”

There was a long pause as I silently chuckled to myself. I wondered if anyone noticed how silly it sounded. The dispatcher came back with the best reply ever when she said, “784 will be en route shortly.”

I actually laughed even more and smiled when I heard that. For those that don’t know, my call sign was 784 for 15 years before it was changed to 729. I was impressed by her quick-witted reply and it instantly put me in a good mood.

Right after that my computer blew up with “LOL” messages about the radio traffic. It was truly a funny moment that I’ll never forget.

Thanks for the radio traffic K.G.