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Dispatchers

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by Zim, Jan 24, 2010.

  1. Zim

    Zim

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    Do a lot of officers have trouble with dispatchers? In my country we have too few, and oficers sometimes take over for them on breaks. As a result they're highly apreciated. But I've hear other agencies complain a lot about them. i work as a control tech (basically a jail dispatcher) and part time as a reserve deputy...

    My question is if dis[patchers are as bad elsewhere as I'd believe only on gossip in my area (and forums like this one). Our dispatchers are a wonder when I do reserve duty and am in a car by myself. I don't know patrol radio etiquette as well as jail radio etiquette and dispatchers have saved me (on the phone).
     
  2. B Coyote

    B Coyote

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    I'm a full time dispatcher and a Reserve (I got the dispatch job through my Reserve job).

    To put it politely, there are good and bad on both sides of the radio.

    bc
     

  3. Marky Mark

    Marky Mark Curmudgeon

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    My dept had all sworn officers dispatching for many years, and the result was that the people dispatching understood very well what was going on on the street, and patrol respected the dispatcher, since you usually knew them by name and had worked with them. The problem was that with manpower shortages in patrol, you had fully qualed officers sitting indoors, and some commanders used dispatch as a "dumping ground" for disciplinary problems or retribution. They later went to primarily non-sworn dispatchers, although officers may volunteer for it (injuries or school schedules).
     
  4. Goldstar225

    Goldstar225 NRA member

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    For the past few years we've had problems in our dispatch section. They were made a seperate directorate about 12 years ago as a 911 dispatch center under the mayor. The person selected as director was an O.K. dispatcher who turned out to be a lazy and incompetent manager. Problems were ignored and complaints on poor performing dispatchers were not dealt with. This was compounded by a long serving mayor who in over 20 years had never dismissed any director.

    Things changed late last summer. The mayor retired and the new Mayor's first order of business was to demote the 911 center director (She retired two months later). The 911 center was placed under the supervision of the police department on a temporary basis. Several dispatchers were dismissed in the next few months for poor or dangerous performance. It's improving and the future looks good but it will take some time to get the experience level up.

    We have a few dispatchers who are outstanding and others who do a competent job.

    I'm not just bashing on the dispatchers. We had the same problems in our department. We gained a new chief almost two years ago who has made great strides in turning the department around. Several poor officers and two supervisors are gone (terminated), training is up, morale is is up, and the officers are expected to do their jobs in a professional manner. They have the support and respect of the Chief.
     
  5. msu_grad_121

    msu_grad_121 BOOSH

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    We're in the same boat, as we use fully sworn personnel for dispatch as well. It can be good in some respects, as days when one of us that's dispatch certified is feeling like garbage or injured or what have you, we can ride the desk, but it's less than comforting to have another fully sworn, able-bodied officer stuck inside while we're short and busy as heck. The only particular problem we've run into is our dispatchers wanting to control every single thing that goes on just because they're "in control." I've worked it, and know how frustrating it can be not to be out there with your coworkers, but I also trust them enough to do an adequate job without my continual direction.

    In short, I've been a dispatcher, had problems with dispatchers, and for the most part now, have found a nice balance with the folks I work with. I have heard some of my friends from other departments hate their dispatchers, but those seem to be in the minority.
     
  6. Kadetklapp

    Kadetklapp Methberry PD

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    We have pretty piss poor dispatching where I work full-time (as well as one of two part-time small town gigs, same dispatch center). The dispatching for EVERYONE (rural/city fire, four different EMSs, all town marshals, city police, county sheriff) is done by the city police department. That's how it's always been and by God it's always going to be that way. The problem is no one but the city police recieves enough attention.

    The dispatchers believe that since they are paid, clothed, fed, and petted by the city police, that all others must wait or eff off.

    It's not as bad now as it was, now most of our "hard-liner" dispatchers just hate everyone mutually. The exception is a couple of the gals on night shift, who are friendly as could be. One is a terrible dispatcher, and she has been there for about twenty years, but she is friendly and tries to help. A couple others are new but they are good.

    My other part-time gig is in the county next door which is part of the greater Indianapolis area, and our dispatchers and their facilities are top-notch. Of course we use computer aided dispatching here so that relieves a lot of stress on them.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2010
  7. Dragoon44

    Dragoon44 Unfair Facist Lifetime Member

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    I have worked with Dispatchers that were worth their weight in gold. And some that weren't worth pissing on if they were on fire.
     
  8. Kadetklapp

    Kadetklapp Methberry PD

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    You know what they say.

    "You may know where you are and what you are doing.

    God may know where you are and what you are doing.

    But if your Dispatcher does not know where you are and what you are doing,

    then I hope you and God are on very good terms."
     
  9. MeefZah

    MeefZah Cover is Code 3

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    There's good and there's bad.

    I think all dispatchers should ride second person in a car once every few months, remind them what the officers need and expect on the street.
     
  10. Pepper45

    Pepper45

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    I agree. I also think patrol ought to have to do 1-2 shifts per year in the dispatch center as well. Might make for better understanding on both sides of the fence.
     
  11. CJStudent

    CJStudent No Longer Fenced In

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    As someone who's worked dispatch, and patrol for a university campus security dept, I agree. It helps a LOT if everyone is on the same page.
     
  12. p.d.

    p.d.

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    Most I've worked with have been excellent, with a few remarkable exceptions. A recent trend has been for dispatch managers to fall in love with the RMS of the week. That is fine if the systems do more for more with less, but that has not been the case generally. We are starting to see regional dispatch centers in our area, which can be a good thing as long as they continue to recognize their support role.
     
  13. blueiron

    blueiron

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    amen!
     
  14. AngryBassets

    AngryBassets Jagenden Übel

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    To expand upon Dragoon's usual Gospel-like proclamation...

    About 7 years ago, we went to a county dispatch system. Most of our dispatchers accepted the offers to work for the county after their positions were eliminated. I think initially, things went fairly well. We had, for the most part, excellent personnel who were regularly assigned to our board (we are one of three municipalities in the county who have their own board/channel...the three largest).

    In the past year, our board has become the training/dumping ground for the lazy, incompetent and selectively deaf. Just this morning, during roll call, I was addressing my guys as to how we are now going to deal with these turds: We are going to yell at them over the radio.

    Now, I don't mean "yell", but rather clearly explain to the dispatcher in a not-so-warm and friendly tone, that he did not do what you asked, and his crap won't be tolerated.

    As example: I had to wrestle some teenage "girl", onto my hood and get her cuffed while dispersing a crowd of idiots at our mall a few weeks ago. As I was holding her on the hood, I said over my portable, "[my unit number], I'm fighting with this girl, county".

    About 5 seconds--count that out, one-one thousand...--- the dispatcher comes over "unit calling county?"

    I didn't notice it until I reviewed my MVR tape when writing the report.

    Another one: one of my young go-getter is on a stop in front of an apartment complex which is basically a satellite of Camden City in the middle of a kinda rural part of town. He says, "County, send me another car down here...I'm on this stop, and there's a guy passed out at the wheel in traffic next to me...appears to be CDS-related".

    Now, we have maybe 6 cars working, and we are humping. It's not every car's job to monitor every transmission. That is the dispatcher's job.

    I'm busy with something myself, and when I realize that it's been a good 2-3 minutes, and no car has been assigned, I ask, "does {unit number} have an assist car en route to him?"

    The response?

    "Stand by; I'm on the phone."

    My response?

    "I DON'T CARE; ASSIGN THAT OFFICER A BACK UP CAR. THE OFFICERS COME FIRST, THE PHONE, SECOND!".

    This was after earlier in the day after I (sergeants are NOT to be sent to calls) get sent to a landlord-tennant disturbance at a problem address...alone. I pulled up to the house, and said, "{unit number}, arriving. I've got four people yelling on the front lawn. Who's my assist car?" and was answered with...you guessed it..."Stand by, I'm taking a call".

    He didn't get it then only because I jumped out on the morons to separate them.

    Our administration has been very supportive but they can only do so much past writing scathing letters and making angry phone calls, since the dispatchers don't work for them and we are stuck with this system. The complaints fall on deaf ears...lol.
     
  15. AngryBassets

    AngryBassets Jagenden Übel

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    And before anyone says it, I was a dispatcher in the department I started with...a small, but very busy two/three officer town...for four years.

    That was the first--and frequently repeated thing I was taught: The cops come first, that a-hole on the phone needing directions to the mall can wait.

    Also, our dispatchers only answer the phone on the 7-digit line, or non-emergent 911 transfers. The 911 operators in another room take the priority information and send it to the dispatchers screen so it's all there before the actual call is transferred to them.

    Thankfully, my squad currently consists of me and 6 guys who are pretty on-the-ball.
     
  16. Hollywood D

    Hollywood D

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    I can think of one good one we have. Most of them are horrible. And the attitudes on the radio are ridiculous. We used to own dispatch but gave it up a while ago and it's all gone down hill since then. Last I heard, the Chief is up their *** now and the director up there is going to get fired. Good riddance I say.
     
  17. 9L82

    9L82 Caffeine Addled

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    The one's who sound pretty are usually......well, they are worth a lot of gold.:rofl:
     
  18. Reyn

    Reyn Times Up

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    Our dispatchers work for our Sheriff. Some of the other municipalities have gone to a 911 central dispatch and it sucks. They answer to their director so the officers and dept cannot get much done with complaints.

    Friday a 911 call came in and was transferred to our dispatch. It was a domestic with possible shots fired. 911 that sent it over did not get a call back number,name or good address. How dumb can you be? They dont status officers half the time and we have had at least one incident where medical was dispatched way after they were initially requested. The person died too.

    We have had hot calls that they held for 5 minutes before transferring to us. Then when folks get pissed they blame us. I think all dispatchers should answer to the chief LEO of the dept they are dispatching.
     
  19. Kadetklapp

    Kadetklapp Methberry PD

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    Here they always tell us "Standby, ten-six."

    You could say "Dispatch I've just been shot in the head like fourteen times." And they would still respond "Standby, extremely ten-six."

    Crap gets old.

    Of course nothing can be done because our dispatchers are paid and vetted by the city police. And the county and city hate each other and whomp whomp whomp...
     
  20. spears

    spears

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    I'm a dispatcher. Some are good, some are horrible.

    To make matters worse at my place, my government entity is discussing outsourcing us to save money, we'll see how that goes.