Emergency responders find ways to celebrate Thanksgiving while keeping us safe

UTAH -- They dedicate their Thanksgiving holiday to keeping the community safe. A day for family and coming together can be solitary for law enforcement officers, but they make the best of it.

Unified Police and the dispatch center celebrated the holiday in their own way Thursday.

Lieutenant Manfred Lassig came on shift during the afternoon, after spending the first part of the day with family.

“They had a burglary in progress, earlier today,” he said, reading off the call log. “Looks like they located suspects and were able to book some people into jail.”

He drove around the Taylorsville area alone in his police truck.

“Another night,” he said.

But this night in particular will most likely be a little different.

“I figure the domestics will pick up here, in the next little bit,” Lt. Lassig said.

He said holidays mean an increase in family fights and domestic violence.

“You’ve got family gatherings, alcohol, and things start to go downhill real quick,” he explained. “Hopefully we can show up and bring a little reason to people's lives and have them settle down.”

While he waited for calls to pick up, the dispatch center fielded what little 911 calls were coming in.

The work switched between taking in emergencies, to a lively and chatty atmosphere.

“One minute we can be laughing, and the next minute we are dealing with somebody who is going through the worst experience of their lives,” said dispatch lead Lindsey Rice.

On the other side of her desk, a modest table with a smorgasbord of Thanksgiving treats sat ready to be eaten. They may be at work, but the dispatchers there say they consider themselves a family.

“I'm thankful for my job and I'm thankful for our officers,” Rice said.

Lt. Lassig has something to be thankful for, too.

An off-duty officer offered up Thanksgiving dinner at his house, and Lt. Lassig said they were due for a Thanksgiving dinner delivery later that night.

“Hopefully traffic slows down enough to where they can get together, and drop in and share a meal with their coworkers,” he said.

While it’s tough to work on the holiday, the officers came together to protect and serve, while still enjoying Thanksgiving in their own way.