Editor’s note: This story is part of a continuing series profiling local police officers, firefighers and other law enforcment officials.

Editor’s note: This story is part of a continuing series profiling local police officers, firefighers and other law enforcment officials.


WHITESBORO — Lisa Whitten, communications supervisor of the Whitesboro Police Department, never expected she would end up working as a 911 dispatcher.


Sixteen years ago Whitten was working at an insurance agency. A friend of Whitten’s who worked at the police department suggested Whitten fill in for a dispatcher while she was on maternity leave. Whitten decided to give the job a try. She worked part-time for six months and then switched to full-time.


"I never left," Whitten said with a smile.


Today, Whitten sits in the dispatch office amid several computer screens, with the sound of ringing phones and radio chatter.


Her main duties are twofold. First, she takes emergency and non-emergency calls and dispatches officers and firefighters to the locations. Second, she communicates with officers via radio, and runs driver’s license numbers through a computer system to give officers information on drivers during traffic stops.


It is unpredictable what each day will bring, Whitten said.


"Yesterday morning first thing, I got a one-vehicle rollover with the guy ejected out of the car," Whitten said, "Some mornings it starts off like that, and it goes all day like that. And then there are days that I don’t do anything; I sit here and catch up on paperwork."


Calls are mostly unpredictable. What day of the week it is does not seem to make a difference in the types of incidents that are called in or number of calls she receives, Whitten said.


However, medical emergencies tend to occur most during morning hours, she said, while domestic calls are more frequent in the evenings.


Whitten was born and raised in Whitesboro and knows many people in the community — something that can at times make her job difficult, she said.


"[I had a call] that a friend of mine’s sister had passed away, and she found her," Whitten said, "My dad called me in a wreck."


On the other hand, knowing people and their background can also be a strength to her job, she said.


When she’s not working, Whitten said she enjoys spending time with her five-year-old granddaughter. She also likes NASCAR and is a Texas Rangers baseball fan.


Whitten wants to stay at the Whitesboro PD as long as they will keep her, she said.


"I really can’t imagine doing anything else."