‘Dispatchers Aren’t First Responders’ Says Officer


Providence, RI – A police officer in Providence is facing severe professional backlash after admitting he doesn’t believe dispatchers are first responders.

“Listen,” said officer James Rhoads in a now-deleted tweet, “They don’t leave their rolling chairs. The only thing they respond to is the microwave.” When Twitter users began to push back, Rhoads doubled-down. “Let’s be honest, they really are nothing more than glorified secretaries. They answer the phone and take notes, badly might I add, before passing the buck to actual responders.”

Chief Richard Johnson says the comments do not violate department policy. “Our officers can voice their opinions while away from work and in the private domain. We cannot police their private lives.” Chief Johnson replied, “No comment,” when asked if he felt Rhoads was wrong.

Just because the department isn’t officially disciplining Officer Rhoads, doesn’t mean he’s escaping punishment, however. Two weeks after the ordeal, Rhoads admits it may not have been his best idea. “Well, I’ve been dispatched to every trash call we’ve received since. NOTHING gets held for the next shift. These dispatchers are brutal. Yesterday, I had to catch a twenty-car wreck with injuries three minutes before my shift ended. I didn’t get out of there for six hours.”

The debate of whether or not dispatchers are first responders centers around benefits they receive, like stress or hazardous duty pay. Many people believe dispatchers deserve similar benefits to other first responders. Others believe that they do not. It is worth noting that BNN stands firmly behind dispatchers. Please do not send us to shit calls.

A reporter asked Communications Officer Jennifer Brown about the “unofficial” punishment Officer Rhoads has received. She grabbed the mic and said, “Dispatchers tell cops where to go, bitch,” dropped the mic, and walked away.


  1. He deserves every shit call for , let’s see , I think 1 Year should be sufficient ,
    The Women And Men of Dispatch Are The First Wave of First Responders , the Officers that Attend the Calls are the Second Wave . This very Uninformed Officer needs to spend some time in the 911 Call Centre , If he can handle it

  2. BNN is your home for law enforcement-related satire. Everything here is a complete fabrication with a hint of truth. Know that going in.

  3. BNN is your home for law enforcement-related satire. Everything here is a complete fabrication with a hint of truth. Know that going in.

  4. And people try to say police are power hungry. Dispatchers should be classified as first responders but don’t think they encounter the same hardship. When was the last time dispatch had to stay away from family because they shot a person trying to kill them. Officers can’t talk to family after fatal OIS until interview. When was the last time a dispatcher was killed for simply being a dispatcher?

    Dispatchers do take calls and screen a lot of calls for officers. Dispatchers talk to mentally ill people, suicidal people and parents with dying loved ones. Dispatchers do NOT smell the smells of dead people, see the dead infants, physically try to revive dead kids while parents watch.

    They do deserve first responder classification for long shifts and exposer but it is not the same.

    • I’ve done both jobs – dispatching and being on the street. I agree, they don’t have to see and smell and physically do the same things officers do. Instead, they are working blind, and only hear the bad calls. Unfortunately, the mind fills in the blanks. Worse, they are left feeling helpless because they can’t help the people that call them. All they can do is dispatch out the calls and sit by hoping help gets there in time. I always thought it was harder being a dispatcher because of it.

  5. My response to the comment about don’t go to dead bodies, don’t have to stay over because we shot someone. I have done this work almost 20 years I have worked 3 days straight no sleep only breaks is to pee because I’m the only one there and my relief can’t get there because the roads are impassable. I have nightmares about the screaming of a mother because she found her baby dead, a caller you grew up with calls you tells he loves you and shots himself, listening to someone being burned alive, a woman being beat by her husband and 99 percent of the time we don’t know how a call ends. I live in a small community less than 20 dispatchers for 5 police departments I have friends at other departments kill themselves, have mental break downs to the point they can’t be in public areas. A officer can get out of his car go eat walk off a call we can’t I sit in a chair eating during or between calls for 12 hours there are days I did have time to eat in 12 hours. So bite me

  6. If this is the way field units feel, dispatchers should give field personnel exactly what the defining job classification suggests?! I don’t think secretaries provide pre-arrival instructions. They are right?! Dispatchers don’t need to be able to deliver a baby over the telephone. Dispatchers need to file formal complaints when they don’t get the breaks the classifications entitle them to?! Secretaries and clerical staff put callers on hold while the customers and clients wait indefinitely for non-clerical field units. They might need go to the restroom anyway .

    Oh! And field units… Where and what… There’s your complainant / victim. You figure out the rest. Secretaries aren’t required to be responsible for your safety and neither should those clerks and secretaries that talk on the phones and radio.

    And what about this text / video to 911 thing? You’re right! Dispatch doesn’t any need to see and hear your victims, or see the dastardly things perpetrators do to the… And see it all before you arrive on scene! . Maybe we should all tape paper over the screens??

    And let’s not forget the natural disasters like hurricanes, wild fires, floods, whiteout blizzards? If the municipalities are ordering their clerical personnel to stay home, or evacuate with their families, sure! Good luck! Maybe they’ll see ya on the other side… They’ll be the well rested one’s who’s got their loved ones out of harms way only to coming back to put more people on perpetual hold while we gossip about your slack asses around the water cooler.

  7. She wouldn’t send an officer of mine on a 20 car pile up with 3 minutes till getting off time. I’d step in and stop that COLD!

  8. Officers on the road need to sit with dispatchers and actually try and do the job before making such negative comments. We had patrol come in and sit with dispatchers. When they tried to actually do the job and tried to juggle so many things at once, they were extremely stressed and overwhelmed. It made them have a different perspective and respect for what dispatchers encounter daily. People need to learn to talk what you “know,” and let your mouth run slow.


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