Work never ends at VPD front desk

Published 9:41 am Monday, August 17, 2015

There is perhaps no busier place than the front desk at the Vicksburg Police Department. Action is almost nonstop, but desk clerk Shirley Lundstrom greets the challenge with determination.

“You’ve got to multitask up here,” Lundstrom said. “It’s hectic sometimes, but I like it.”

Lundstrom has manned the front desk at VPD for almost six years in an effort that’s never-ending.  The phone rings constantly, and about 50 people a day walk up to the window with a variety of questions both about emergencies and the mundane.

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“At the same time they have to take reports, answer the phone and answer the radio,” Vicksburg Police Chief Walter Armstrong said. “They have a very busy job and a very complex job dealing with the public as well as the officers. It takes front desk clerks with patience and a caring attitude to be able to deal with the public.”

In addition, the front desk acts as a mini-dispatch center, running drivers license, warrant and license plate checks for officers.

“At night, when court services closes, we also take payments up here,” Lundstrom said.

The chance to meet and help people is what keeps Lundstrom going.

“I like to be busy,” she said.

Lundstrom is a native of the Hattiesburg area and served in the Army for five years. About 10 years ago she moved to Eagle Lake. Her husband, Johnny, has been a booking officer at VPD for almost four years.

Lundstrom and other desk clerk’s play a vital role for the police department, Armstrong said.

“They are the first one the public sees when they come through the door. A lot of them are upset because of an incident they may have had happened to them, whether it be domestic violence or some other violation,” Armstrong said. “We ask the public to be patient with them and understand that while they may be dealing with their issues they also have to concentrate on incoming phone calls, etc.”