Her Story: Lindsey Sims

The helpful voice when you call 9-1-1

One of the most important jobs at any police department is that of the dispatcher.

Midlothian resident Lindsey Sims has been a dispatcher for the Waxahachie Police Department for nine years. Law enforcement runs in her family as her father and mother, Chris and Linda Eadler, were law enforcement officers. Chris retired from WPD and Linda was a deputy for the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office before retiring from the Cedar Hill Police Department.

During a recent visit with the Sun, the 2001 Midlothian High School graduate explained the job, the importance of doing everything correctly and how it requires a person who can multitask.

“We answer the calls from the citizens,” Sims said. “We often have to calm them down. We must ask every question necessary for the type of call and we must be sure all the information is correct.”

The safety of the police officer and the citizens is the priority for dispatchers, she said.

Once the dispatcher gets the information on a call, the information is dispatched to the officer.

“We are responsible for that officer’s safety,” Sims said. “People don’t realize there is a liability for all of us involved in the call.”

While an officer is out on a call, dispatchers do periodic checkups to ensure nothing is amiss.

Sims was hired as a dispatcher before becoming a trainer – and now serves as supervisor over the dispatch department.

“I have trained over 40 people to be dispatchers and sometimes now I help train if needed,” she said.

There are currently four shifts of dispatchers; they work 12-hour shifts.

“We have 14 dispatchers,” Sims said. “Three dispatchers work the night shift, three work the day shift and one works the middle shift.”

Working as a team is of utmost importance in the dispatch job, she said, noting that when dispatchers experience an extremely difficult call, they talk about it later with their partner dispatchers.

“During the call, we must remain calm and be sure we get everything correct,” she said. “There is no room for error.”

In addition to police calls on 9-1-1, the dispatchers answer the administration line and animal control.

“We radio to the police and fire departments and we transfer medical calls to AMR,” Sims said.

Sims has two sons, ages 9 and 4.

“My 9-year-old thinks I manage the police,” she said with a chuckle.


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