When you’re a police officer, you have to think quickly when things go bad. Your actions determine how things end up. Although there are certain procedures and suggested methods that can be done to alleviate an intense situation, most of the time officers are expected to think on their feet. But it’s not just the cops on the field that are put in these stressful positions, 9-1-1 dispatchers are the underrated heroes that need a little more recognition for their work.
Just before he was about to go on break, 9-1-1 dispatcher Deonte Smith answered a call like none other before. The woman on the other line was acting as if Smith was her boyfriend. Although he wasn’t, he quickly realized he had to play along once he knew what was really going on.
After kidnapping and driving the victim out to a novelty shop, the victim’s attacker wanted the young woman to call her boyfriend and have him listen in so he can hear his girlfriend getting assaulted over the phone. When the victim was handed the phone, she called the police instead. Smith played the role of the boyfriend and attempted to persuade the man not to assault the woman while he tried to find out where the assault was happening.
“I just go with the flow,” he said. “That’s all you gotta do. You have to improvise. When you’re a dispatcher not everything is going to be written down. Not everything is in black and white.” Fortunately, the victim was able to give the location right away. Officers immediately made their way toward the novelty store while Smith remained on the phone with the woman.
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Although there are many people praising the dispatcher for his actions, he believes that the woman should be getting all of the credit. “You saved your own life with your quick thinking. Thank you for making it easier for me by doing what you did.”
After staying on the phone with the woman for about five minutes, police arrived at the scene of the crime where they say the attacker, Robert Timothy Giles, assaulted the woman. The man was arrested for assault, false imprisonment, and obstruction of justice.
“[It was] the most extreme call of my career,” Smith said in an interview with WSB-TV. “I have a daughter, I have a sister, and I have a mom. It’s difficult, it really is. I was really upset. I’m glad I was there to help her. I really can’t say it enough. She saved her own life with her quick thinking.”