Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Crisis epidemic . . .

When one of my colleagues committed suicide over the holidays I posted this. Now belatedly the people I work with have realized the big picture. Since my date of hire 4 years ago, our department has had 2 suicide attempts while on duty and 10 people go out on "stress evaluation leave." Only 3 of those 10 have returned to duty. 2 officers have walked in to the brass, put their service weapon on the desk and stated: "I'm going to quit or I'm going to kill myself." All but 3 of these incidents have happened within the last year.

My administration is clueless. "What problem?" Like your employees running like lemmings to a cliff isn't a big enough clue something is wrong. More and more officers are expressing signs of stress; yet we are told to do more with less.

This week a man who trained me, joked with me and cried with me simply walked off the job. He walked into the Captain's office laid his equipment and his paperwork on the desk and left. Again I'm left with the feeling of "What did I miss?" Surely to God we should have noticed something in a man we worked with every night, drank with and talked to every day. I hope he's happy in a world far from law enforcement and corrections. I hope we can stop the trend, our lives depend on it. Only thing is, how do you fight a monster you can't see?

Monday, September 27, 2010

No, I am not poison control . . .

One of our frequent fliers calls 911. We get called out for "an overdose on unknown substance." Nice, so it could be bleach or Tums. Upon arrival we find our resident system abuser who says this: "Why are you here?" Behind me I can barely make out my engineer whisper, "I was wondering the same thing."

FF: "I called poison control"
Me: "No, you called 911."
FF: "Well yeah, but that was because I wanted the number to poison control."
Me: "That's what 411 is for, not 911."
FF: "No, 411 is information not poison control, everyone knows that"
Me: "Clearly not."
FF: "So are you going to do your job and give me the number?"
Me: "Did you take something you think is dangerous?"
FF: "No, I wanted to see if this pill my girlfriend gave me is really a Vicodin."
Me: "Right. Go back in the house before I call the cops."