Christmas service

December 28, 2014

Not everyone gets to take the holiday off

By Bobbie Poynter

Christmas is a time for family, but some people, depending on where they work or profession they’re in, may not always have that choice. Then again, they may be given the choice, but choose to work the holiday instead. Whether it is required that a person work the holiday or whether it is voluntary, there is still the question of how or when that person will get to celebrate the holiday with family.

Gary Gray, has served as a Knox County dispatcher for two years and pulled the 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Christmas Day rotation.

“We’re on duty here 24/7 365 days a year,” said Gray. “There’s no use in trying to hide it, beat around it, or get out of it. If it falls on your day, you work it.”

Gray’s family split their Christmas celebrations so that they could spend different days with their extended families. However, the dispatcher got his wife Katie and two-year-old daughter Loren up at 5 a.m. Christmas Day so they could open their presents together.

“I took this position with the understanding it was a selfless job. You just have to remember that someone always has to be here. This job has no breaks.”

Law enforcement officers are probably the first thing people think of when they think of someone out working on the holiday. That’s because it’s their job to remain visible to the community, even when the rest of the city is off and at home.

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