I worked inside the other night, usually when I'm inside I work the front window (Must be my winning charm and personality that makes the officials want to have me interact with the public as the face of the Police Department) However the other night we were short on people so I had to switch to working as the dispatcher.
In dispatch there are 3-5 people that work together
  • Dispatcher
  • Leaps Operator
  • then 1-3 calltakers

Well I was dispatching my little heart out when a message came over the Teletype (The Teletype is like a police fax machine that departments use to send important info to as many or as few departments as they need to. Usually it is really important stuff, however sometimes it is regional stuff that is less important. It is the Leaps Operator that checks the incoming and produces the outgoing teletype messages.

Well this particular night the leaps operator gets the teletype and looks over at me, she asks me what's a gnome?

I reply: A gnome? why do you wanna know what a gnome is..........

She hands me the teletype and I swear this is what was reported:

Local PD reports stolen gnome, described as 3ft tall , colors red, white, blue and black, gnome also described as having a long white beard, gnome made from cedar wood valued at $500.00 last seen on 09/11/06 Photos available if needed.

As I'm reading it all I could think of was the TRAVELOCITY commercial, with the little yard gnome. I thought to myself someone in that department has either got a real good sense of humor or has just gone around the bend and is pulling in at the funny farm. I laughed until there was tears in my eyes, and every time I composed myself the Leaps Operator just said the word GNOME and I'd go unglued all over again.