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Major BS


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  • Major BS

    Two years ago, I was chasing a BG. Chased him through some backyards and into a house. Radioed my location, and entered the house. Tried to keep dispatch updated, but my transmissions werent going through. Apparently I was in a dead zone as far as our signal strength goes.

    I ended up catching the bad guy, and I had to call dispatch and let them know the deal using my Nextel cell phone. For those of you who aren't familiar with Nextel, it's a cell phone service that also offers a 2 way radio feautre. it operates just like a walkie talkie, but with far greater distances (300 miles or so).

    The fact that I was out of contact with other officers was really frightening. The next day, I bought a Nextel cell phone to keep in our dispatch office, just in case I could never get through on the radio again. Apparently, a lot of the other officers thought this was a good idea, because they programmed thier Nextels to be able to reach the dispatch Nextel. A lot of other officers who didnt have Nextels, bought them. The phone in dispatch, nobody uses, it doesnt take up andy room. It just sits on a shelf in its charger, always turned on, "just in case".

    Last night, I had to use it again, the first time since the original time. Was checking out an audible alarm call, when i tried to radio into dispatch. They got back to me, and told me, my transmissions were coming in scrambled. So I used the Nextel, and the dispatch returned using the Nextel I bought for the officer there. Again, everything went down, alarm was just a false gig.

    When I returned back to the precinct, the commanding officer, a Dep Inspector, reamed my *** out about not following proper procedure, putting people in danger, etc etc. I found this to be total BS considering what I did was completely and 100% for officer safety, not against. It was on my own dollar, not the counties, and the former commanding officer didn't have any problem with it. The Nextel is still there on the shelf, so I don't know what his problem was. He embarrassed me in front of a room full of officers and dispatchers.

    What are your opinions? Did I do something wrong and stupid by buying the Nextel for our dispatch room, or was it the right and smart thing to do?

  • #2
    You should have told the CO when you placed the phone in dispatch and let him claim that it was his idea.

    Other than that you did nothing wrong. [Wink]


    • #3
      IMHO you did the right thing. You should tell the boss that next time you are on duty you will conduct a risk assessment on you patrol and if the radio doesn't work 100% you won't be going out. I'm sure over there, like here, he has responsibility for your safety. If he wants to put you out on the street with a defective PR, let him sign his name to it (and then still use your Nextel thing, saying "he put me out here, lucky we got this as a standby" if anyone asks)
      I have been there, in the crap and your PR doesn't work and it scared the **** out of me. I ended up using my mobile phone aswell.
      The artist formerly known as Soho Bandit


      • #4
        Sounds to me like you have gone out of your way to make sure you make it home in one piece at night (or in the morning, depending on your shift) ... Although I would not have gone out and purchased the phone with my own money, I would have submitted a proposal, or memo through the union, and/or chain of command stating the problems with the radios. Then, when something DID happen, it would be documented. The use of cell-phones and Nextels in my department has increased greatly over the last few years due to the same types of radio problems. In fact, half the time, our dispatch asks us to contact station via phone because "your radio is weak and unreadable."

        The new administration is working harder at improving our system, but, like anything, there doesn't seem to be an easy solution ...

        Good luck with your situation ... I think you did the right thing. If the station commander, or whoever it is that has the problem, feels left out of the radio traffic ... have dispatch relay the information you are telling them to that person over the radio, just to keep him/her aprised of the situation.
        I want to die in my sleep like my grandfather ... not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.


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