In Honor of National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) and its affiliate, CHP-Public Safety Dispatchers Association (CHP-PSDA) are featuring members and saying thank you to ALL public safety dispatchers and communications operators.
Here are some thoughts from Public Safety Dispatcher David Arriola, union site representative and public safety dispatcher at the CHP Los Angeles Communications Center. Thank you, David!
What is one of your most memorable 911 calls?
In 2013, I took a call from a retired police officer in the city of Monterey Park. I spent over 30 minutes on that call just talking. I was able to get the caller to put down the gun and, in the end, convinced the caller to walk outside and speak with the two officers who had been called to the residence.
What is one of your most memorable calls on the radio?
While in radio training, my trainer pulled me from my assigned radio to handle an incoming multi-area pursuit.
If there is a “second career” in your future, what will it be?
I would like to teach when my career with CHP has completed.
Do you have a quirky sense of humor as a result of your experiences and how you deal with them?
I had a quirky sense of humor before starting with CHP. I like to poke fun at myself and allow my co-workers to laugh.
Have you ever had a 911 caller seek you out to say thank you?
I have not had a caller seek me out to say thank you, I do get thanked many times while on the call.
What is an accomplishment you are most proud of as it relates to your career?
While working for CHP I was able to obtain my Masters Degree on Education.
How do you relieve the stress?
I run....lots and lots of running.
Best advice you have received from a fellow dispatcher?
Take time off when you need it. Do not wait for the perfect time.
Your thoughts on being formally recognized in California as a first responder?
I feel that it is overdue, and I am happy for those peers who do this job better than most.
Your favorite thing to bring to work with you or have on your desk?
It would be my backpack that has a button with my daughter’s soccer picture.
What made you choose this as your career?
My cousin was a dispatcher and the conversations we had made me realize I could do this work and do it well.