I was scrolling through Facebook this morning, and came across a posting from a friend with whom I had the pleasure of working with at the beginning of my dispatching career. She had commented on a post from 2 other past colleagues of mine, and I hope the posting party doesn’t mind if I post what he had written:
“Reflecting on the unspeakable homicide that took place yesterday in Oaklawn when a grandmother brutally killed her 6 month old granddaughter, memories rush in 15 years ago working as a 911 dispatcher in Naperville when a mother called and confessed to killing her 3 children. I see and hear the worse in the world but is seen as the bad guy because I may wrote you a ticket or arrested you for DUI. I do the job you can’t, or won’t.”
He and I worked together as dispatchers for the City of Naperville back in early 1999 when "the call" came in to our center. I don’t remember too much of that morning when I answered the 911 call. I do remember the 3 people who were there who stood by my side during the conversation I had with Marilyn Lemak.
It was getting close to lunch time, and I had other things on my mind when the phone rang:
Dispatcher: 911 where's your emergency?
Defendant: Hi, I'm in Naperville at 28 S. Loomis.
Dispatcher: What's the problem?
Defendant: My three kids are dead, and I . . . I wanted to be dead too but it didn't work.
I had only been dispatching for a little over 3 years when I got this call. Seeing his posting this morning brought back a lot of memories, and I knew where he was, where he was coming from and how he was feeling. No dispatcher or peace officer wants to have to deal with the death of a child.
It’s taken me countless years and several counselling sessions to finally overcome this travesty in my life. I can’t imagine having to do it all over again, but there is a chance I may have to one day. I only pray for my friend’s well-being as well as all the other first responders who dealt with, and are still dealing with that tragedy in Oaklawn.
To my friends: stay close to family. Take shelter in knowing they love you and care for you very much. If you are a praying person, pray, earnestly, for peace in your life. This isn’t something we can understand, we can only deal with the after effects. Others are depending upon us to be the rock, so find your peace to carry on. And remember, you’re not alone. If you want to talk, you know how to reach me.
Until next time,
Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
The Lord gives his people strength. The Lord blesses them with peace.
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