Not every call will result in the dispatch of a trooper. Many are complaints of small things like a person who appears suspicious but hasn’t actually violated the law. Some callers will request information from the arrest records of an individual, which is not public information.
Reyell and Owen try to mentally keep track of where troopers are patrolling geographically so they can send the trooper who is closest to the site of a report, Reyell said.
A word of advice to callers reporting an incident: “If you’re calling something in, please at least know where you are,” Reyell said.
Many lifelong residents of the area are familiar with landmarks but not street names, and in an emergency, when every second counts, not knowing the location of an incident can be a huge problem.
When a trooper is sent to the site of a possible crime or accident, the dispatchers start a report in the computer with all the information they are able to get from the caller on the phone. The trooper finishes the report after handling the incident, entering it into the computers they have in their patrol cars.
A trooper often substitutes for a dispatcher at shift change.
”We rotate,” State Police Trooper Joseph Liberty said. But it’s clear Liberty doesn’t enjoy his time behind the dispatchers’ desk.
”You couldn’t pay me enough money to do their job every day,” Liberty said, chuckling.
For dispatchers, some calls that come in are hard to shake.
Reyell was a new dispatcher working in Ray Brook in the summer of 1999 when a Lake Placid bank was robbed. The details still stand out in his memory.
Michael Keitz, who was 29 years old at the time, walked into Adirondack Bank in Cold Brook Plaza there and told a teller he would detonate a bomb in a bag he was holding if she didn’t give him cash.