No Time

No Time

A Story by Cherrie Palmer

police days


“Police Department, what’s your emergency?” I said with my voice a balance between command and compassion.

“Things are not going well for me, I need an officer sent out.” Ted Jamison said.

The 911 system displayed Name, and address. Showing that Ted & Melisa Jamison lived at 302 S Denver.

I had talked to him before. As a matter of fact last Monday. “Hello, Mr. Jamison, this is Cheryl. We spoke last week.”

This was going to be a suicidal call again tonight, This call will make three. Monday night he was drunk when he called, most people are.  I had a bad feeling about tonight. It’s never good when a sober person thinks this way and he sounded very sober.

“So tell me what’s going on tonight?” In my bag of voices, I have several choices to choose from. I had lots of training for this and in truth taught several classes for the suicidal hotline. There is a balance in asking questions. You never know what might push the caller over the edge. So the tool of choice tonight is friendship. I’m hoping he will trust me because we’ve spoken before.

“My wife has taken our son to the movies and I need the police sent over while they are gone.”

I mute the headset and start two officers his way. It will be a check on the well-being. “Mr. Jamison, has something happened that you are needing to report?”

“I just need them to get here before my family does.” My mind is racing, I see the path and it’s dark, very dark a damn dead-end.

I shift gears in my handling of this call. “Ted, I have two officers on the way. One of them is my husband, You’re going to like him. He’s a real man’s man. Someone you can chew the fat with. But he wants me to fill him in on what’s going on here and I want you to come right out and tell me.”

“Umm, well, I, a.” His voice grows weaker and he never finishes his thought.

So I step it up a notch. “Ted, there’s nothing that cannot be fixed with a little effort. Now I want you to tell me what’s going on.” The line remained silent, so I just kept talking. “I want to know what’s on your mind and if anything is in your hands. The Police will be there very soon.”

“I do have something in my hand.

“Yes, I thought you might. Now tell me what it is.”

“A snub-nose.” His voice was empty and flat. I muted the line again to key the mic. Quickly, I relayed the details and got back on the call.

“Ted, this is no answer. You will destroy your wife and son. He may never recover from this.” I spoke firmly and with passion.  

“I want to thank you for caring, I’d like you to reach out to them when the time is right.”

“We can all go for coffee, you three and Sam and I. It would be good for all of you. Don't you think your wife wants to help you, with this.”

“It’s too late, I just need the officer to get here before my wife.”

“It’s never to late.” Adrenaline was coursing through my veins, but my voice was smooth as glass. Again I muted the line and keyed the mic. “Adam 20, E.T.A?”

“Less than 5, switch.” Which means for us to go to the talk around channel.

“Dispatch?” Adam 20 askes.

“I don’t know if he has 5 minutes.”

“Just keep him talking.”

“10-4” I say.

“Good girl.” My husband, Adam 20 says.

I unmute the line. “Ted, what will happen to your son if you do this?”

“I cannot think about that.”

“Isn’t that why you called so we could think this over, together you and I?”

“No, I called so you all could beat my wife here,” a loud bang rang through the line. I jumped to my feet. The sudden sound of it knocked the breath out of my lungs. I yelled at my supervisor to start me an ambulance.

“Ted, Mr. Jamison! Hello.” I key the mic. "All units “A” is on emergency traffic."  A is the side of town I dispatch for. “Adam 20, shots fired. EMT’s are en-route. The caller is no longer speaking, I still have an open line.”

“10-4, I’m turning the corner is there any background noise?”

“No none.”

“10-97” which means on scene.

“10-4 EMT’s are staging” which means they are waiting for the officer to secure the scene.”

I can hear the front door being kicked in. Every emotion I have is locked down tight, as I wait.  Finally, I hear the rustling of the phone. Slowly I release my breath. “Cheryl, honey I’m sorry.” My husband Adam 20 says. “Tell the EMT’s the scene is secure. Then start me the Medical Examiner one time.”

© 2018 Cherrie Palmer

Advertise Here
Want to advertise here? Get started for as little as $5

My Review

Would you like to review this Story?
Login | Register


Good Cherrie, this sounds like a very authentic description of this sad situation and I can only guess you have some first hand experience to draw on. Your dialogue flows well and the result is uncertain which increases the tension. There are a few minor slips you could pick up on like a to instead of too. Also your last sentence puzzles me but I know it might be police talk.
Thanks for sharing this story.

Posted 3 Days Ago

Cherrie Palmer

3 Days Ago

Yes, my husband and I did this kind of work for a long time. We always worked the same shift. I'll .. read more
Agree about the story being all too real...

Posted 1 Week Ago

Cherrie Palmer

1 Week Ago

I don't capture those moments very often. I'm not sure why. But every now and then I can't but it d.. read more
names and address made up, story all to real

Posted 1 Week Ago

Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


3 Reviews
Added on March 8, 2018
Last Updated on March 8, 2018
Tags: sucide


Cherrie Palmer
Cherrie Palmer

Bull Shoals Lake, AR

I am a published poet and love poetry. I also have two books on Amazon Kindle: Obsession Starts with a smile, and a western The Knife That Knew No Mercy. Both stories are fast paced and entertaining.. more..