After 28 years on the job as a dispatcher for the Huntingdon Police Department and the Department of Safety, Linda Parker has retired.
A January 2 luncheon in her honor was held at the Department of Safety with members of her family, police officers, and public works and finance department employees present.
There were tears and plenty of smiles and laughter during the event.
“It’s a bitter-sweet time,” said Mayor Dale Kelley, who presented her with a plaque and watch. “We hate to lose her, but she loves to travel.”
Her plaque commended her for her outstanding service to the town and noted that she started on April 27, 1990.
It also said that she has demonstrated dedication and pride in her work.
Department of Safety director, Walter Smothers, presented her with a Visa gift card.
“It’s been a good career,” said Linda, who noted that her sister, Toni Sawyers, who works in the town’s finance department, told her about the job.
She mostly worked the 3:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. shift, but also worked the 11:30 p.m. – 7:30 a.m. shift as well.
The biggest change over the years, she says, is the equipment.
“Once there were paper log sheets where things were written down,” she said. “Now all that is computerized.”
She has taken numerous calls, many of them heart rending, over the years.
One of the saddest she ever had was from a father who found his son who had committed suicide. Another about a bulldozer accident was also heart wrenching.
On a lighter note, a lady called once and said a vampire was after her. There have also been reports of opossums and raccoons that have found their way into residences that have prompted telephone calls to the police department. Once a small black snake found its way in the dispatch room.
“I have met a lot of people through my job,” she said.
She took her first trip of retirement on January 4 when she departed for a Caribbean cruise.