Hastings dispatcher’s outstanding response makes difference
HASTINGS, Neb. -- Thanks to a dispatcher’s awareness, a tense situation did not end up worse.
Last week, several Nebraska schools received calls about school shootings.
One of those calls had been made to the Hastings Police Department non-emergency line.
Dispatcher Jennica Pohlmeier answered, but thanks to her training, she knew something was up.
“It sounded so scripted because he kept repeating like the exact address,” Pohlmeier said.
Maintaining one’s cool during a tough situation could have been a challenge, but Pohlmeier was prepared.
“I’ve been doing this for six years, and just my training I have done a lot of other severe calls," Pohlmeier said. "I knew if that I freak out, then it's going to upset everybody else.”
Pohlmeier knew that she had both an on duty sergeant, as well as the school resource officer in the high school. She said she contacted them immediately.
Officers were able to react quickly and lockdown the school. They searched room-by-room, and were able to determine there was no credible threat.
The Hastings Police Department recognized Pohlmeier for doing a great job. She said it's a job she loves.
“As a teenager I got into listening to the scanner as a hobby," Pohlmeier said. "So, that’s kind of what intrigued me to become a dispatcher. And now, I mean, I really enjoy working for the department, and I'm from here, so the community is important to me.”
Polhmeier is glad the situation didn’t escalate.
“I was just glad it turned out the way it did, that it wasn’t real," Pohlmeier said. "I mean it was stressful. I had a trainee that has only been here for about a month watching everything I'm doing, so you know the pressure was on, that I'm going to do this exactly like it needs to be done.”