The Origins of a Police Dispatcher ??

This and the next post "tie in" with each other.
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First, if you refer back to the "
Connections - Both in Life and Death" post. You may recall me talking about my Pep who was a U of M Policeman and how I believe this may have been where my interest in law enforcement came from. (Yet I did "blame" my Mémère too)
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"My Pep was a Policeman for the University of Minnesota Police Department. I believe this is where I got my interest in law enforcement. (I also "blame" my Mémère too - in a different way and for a different reason - Remind me to tell you that story too!)"
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. This is the story of why I give some of the blame to my Mémère!
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Not long after Pep passed away, a new object appeared on the end table in the living room at Mémère's house. I soon discovered that it was a "police scanner". I had never heard of such a thing. Mémère turned it on, and a row of 8 LED lights started flashing across the front of it. It was not long before the scanner started broadcasting the audio it was intended to broadcast. Police Radio Traffic. I was in AWE. I could actually hear what the police were doing - it was amazing and hypnotizing to me at the same time. I could hear calls being dispatched, hear the names and addresses, and (the best part) the graphic (for a young sheltered boy) descriptions of that was going it. This little box was AMAZING! Many times while visiting Mémère I sat and entertained myself by listing to the scanner. I was hooked! It was my drug, and Mémère was my pusher!
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Mémère's original scanner (I belive it was a Bearcat 8 - at least I remember it looking almost exactly like this one) only had 8 channels. She had to have semi-permanent radio crystals installed for the frequencies she wanted to listen to, and therefore, was very limiting. I remember her talking about getting a scanner that had more channels in it. Not much longer after she got the Bearcat 8, a much more complicated Bearcat 210 showed up at her home. She apparently had difficulties programming it, and let me try (I only remember seeing it at her house once). She told me it was complicated to program, and that when she unplugged it to take it from room to room, she would have to reprogram it each time.
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Like I said, I only saw the 210 that one time. I believe she returned it to wherever she bought it soon after, and the Bearcat 8 was back in it's spot.
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As stated earlier, I got to spend quite a few "overnights" at Mémère's house after Pep passed away. The nights and weekends were when things really got good on the scanner. I remember sitting on the front three season porch late into the night with Mémère listening to the scanner. I remember one particular time where the police were recovering a body from a trash dumpster. We both sat intrigued, for hours.
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I remember asking her at one point, why she did not have a scanner earlier? After all Pep was a policeman. She was very quick to answer! She told me that Pep forbid her from having one in the house. She told me that he complained about how he listened to his police radio squawk all day at work, therefore he was not about to come home and listen to a scanner during his off duty hours. After he retired, she again tried to get a scanner, but Pep continued to refused to allow one in the house. Mémère said (with a little grin on her face) that as soon as he passed away, she ran out and bought one because she finally COULD! Some of my fondest memories of time with Mémère was sitting with her during the evening hours, in the dark listening to that scanner.
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After Mémère passed away, (I think) the scanner ended up being given to my cushion Dean from Maine. I think Dean enjoyed listening to it with Mémère too! After I started working, one of the first "big ticket" items I bought for myself was my very own police scanner. I bought a BC140 (which I just recently threw it away, as it was no longer functional. I had it stored in a box in the closet. I got it out, and it would only power up about 25% of the times I turned it on). It sat by my bedside, and was ALWAYS on. I later added a high-gain antenna on the exterior of the house. I ran the antenna line in thru my bedroom window GREATLY improving it's reception.
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I also purchased a BC100XLT (a handheld portable scanner) a couple of years later. I still have it, but is non-functional.
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I guess I ought to throw that one away too, but perhaps in some way, to me, it represents the time my Mémère and I spent sitting in the dark together, enjoying each other's company listening to her police scanner.
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Stay tuned to see why that BC100XLT was the last scanner I bought...

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