I was just about to leave briefing yesterday when my sergeant announced, "you're in luck, you get to work the front desk." Apparently one of the administrative assistants didn't come to work so I got the enviable task of answering phones.
It's ironic that I had more anxiety about trying to transfer calls then being out on the street chasing bad guys. I had no idea what I was doing and had nobody around to ask for help. I can't tell you how many people I accidentally hung up on while trying to put them on hold, transfer to a community line, and then use the paging system. I was supposed to work the desk from 2:30 to 8:30. The first few hours felt like an eternity. When the 3rd shift administrative assistant came in early at 6:00 I felt like a freed prisoner.
As soon as I hit the street there was a 'shots fired' call near 30th St and Indian School. When we arrived, there was several rifle casings in the street, a fire burning in the front yard of a house, and a broken Molatov cocktail bottle in the gutter. Someone had walked up, shot several rounds into the front window of a house, and threw a flaming bottle of gasoline at the resident's car. The bottle bounced off the bumper and rolled back into the street causing some gasoline to leak out and start the small fire. If the bottle had shattered there would have been a big fire. The residents told us they did not know why someone would do this. We then saw the entire back fence of their yard covered with gang grafitti (the inside part of the fence facing the yard).
The rest of my squad was tied up with that shooting scene so I was busy taking calls throughout several beat areas. I never had a chance to eat dinner but the time flew by very fast.
My night closed out with an encounter with 'baby guy'. This is a grown man that lives near 29th St and Indian School that dresses up like a baby girl. He was wearing cloth diapers, a pink top, and had a large pacifier in his mouth. His blond hair was pulled tight into two small pigtails. There's a news story about him on azfamily.com that shows him at home in his giant crib and high-chair.