This is the first of several installments to be written by two of SacPD’s Dispatcher Recruits who are currently going through the Department’s challenging 10-week Dispatcher Academy. They began the Academy on August 6 and will graduate October 12.
Howdy folks! My name is Kelly Casillas and I am a Dispatcher Recruit for the Fall 2007 Dispatch Academy. I am married to Roy and we have a beautiful daughter, Makayla. They both have been ‘Big Helpers’ thus far in the academy – whether I need quizzes on my flash cards or need my notebook decorated in various stickers, they have given me the support.
We are three weeks into the academy, and have already pulled out our hair. From type codes to criteria for dispatch, our instructors have done everything but beat it into us. We have daily quizzes, which we think are insanely tough, and then have a weekly test compiled of everything we have learned. We are learning each other’s weaknesses and strengths and are able to help out a teammate if we see them struggle. I know I will personally have a tough time with geography, as I am a Virginia native (these streets have me upside down and backwards!). I am sure my teammates will be there to drop me off in the middle of nowhere with a street map and a compass – not!
The first week was the awkward week – where we were just a group of strangers in a classroom with the same goal. We had our notebooks in hand and were ready to learn – we just would not talk. Slowly but surely we all warmed up to one another and got an idea for the personalities of our peers.
Week two was a big stress week because we had our first test that week. Two weeks of information on one test, I don’t think anyone slept! We waited half the day on Friday to find out our test result … We all passed! It was like music to our ears. Now we have an outstanding group of seven people who are helping one another to reach the same goal.
We are now entering week three, which begins our P.O.S.T. certification. We have other agencies come in from all over to take this mandated training. We will have three weeks of P.O.S.T. and then we will return to our striving group of seven for the remaining five weeks. So keep your fingers crossed … I know we sure will!