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Dispatch Vs. 911 Operator


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  • Dispatch Vs. 911 Operator

    I'm a little confused and was just looking for some clarity...

    I know when a civilian calls 911, they speak to the 911 operator who then takes the information and details of whatever the emergency may be...BUT who is the one that is responsible for verbally conversing back and forth with the responding officer in regards to the detail of the emergency ( ex. number of people involved, address information, suspect info...). Is that the job of the operator as well? Or is that dispatch? I'm also aware that the information is sent to the responding officers computer.

    So, do dispatch and 911 operators serve the same functions? If not, what are the differences? And I'm also curious to know if 911 operators need to know 10 codes and police phonetics?

    I know I'm kinda asking a lot, but I'm genuinely interested.


  • #2
    Same person.


    • #3
      And a lot of department's are getting away from 10 codes. We use a signal's system but we're even getting away from that and using plain old english.
      "Naw officer, I was hanging with my cousin"

      "Sooo, real cousin or play cousins ?"

      Originally posted by JasperST
      I'm thinking a battalion of menstruating bearded women could kick some serious booty!


      • #4
        The 911 operator is the dispatcher. If the dept uses 10 codes, which is becoming more rare, then yes the dispatcher must also know the codes. They will also dispatch fire and EMS.

        Smaller departments may have one or two 911 operators who do everything. Take the call, dispatch the call, mark units onscene or in service, run plates, run for warrants, etc. Larger organizations will have two distinct positions that split the work load. Where I work now has dispatchers who take the call and dispatch it originally, but after that the control operator takes care of marking units, starting back up, running warrants, etc.
        I miss you, Dave.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Michigan View Post
          Same person.
          True in most places............................

          The larger departments--------------------LA, NY and some others have dedicated 911 operators and also dedicated dispatchers.
          Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

          My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS


          • #6
            Originally posted by Iowa #1603 View Post

            The larger departments--------------------LA, NY and some others have dedicated 911 operators and also dedicated dispatchers.
            Same with KCPD.....

            All the places I've worked they were one in the same......


            • #7
              all the places ive seen/worked have dedicated call takers. call taker puts in the call...dispatcher sends it out over the air/MDT's. this allows the RTO/operator/Dispatcher or whatever to keep an eye on us instead of getting bogged down with BS calls when we need something. the call taker assigns a priority to the call based on different criteria and the dispatcher sends the appropriate units when available or preempts us and reroutes us to a higher priority call if needed. EMS calls go to the EMS calltaker who assigns a priority and delivers pre arrival instructions to the caller ie. talking through CPR. the LE calltaker asks questions we need answers to ie. is the bad guy armed/still on scene/ are YOU armed/do you have any animals....etc. all that info is typed into the call by the calltaker which pops up on my MDt and the dispatchers call screen.

              heres a decent link to more info.


              Just FYI, the burnout rate is WAY high for Center Operators.

              The one call you DONT want as a dispatcher:

              Last edited by LaPlaca; 04-09-2011, 07:30 PM.
              Originally posted by crass cop
              Just do it in front of a camera and try not to get a boner and you shoudl be fine.


              • #8
                LaPlaca, thanks for the great insight!


                • #9
                  The LAPD has several different communications positions. They are outlined on a publicly available document here http://per.lacity.org/eeo/PoliceServ...tive-Tasks.pdf


                  • #10
                    Larger call centers will have one set of employees answering phone calls. This can include 911, police emergency lines, and non emergency information calls. They will also have a separate set of employees working the radio, dispatching calls for service. As far as what phone operators need to know is based on department policy.

                    Smaller call centers will have employees doing both.

                    I would recommend contacting your department, telling them you are interested in the job, and seeing if you can do a "sit-along". It is very similar to a ride-along, and you will learn a lot more actually being in the environment.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by amw315 View Post
                      Smaller call centers will have employees doing both.
                      And some places in Rural MO have them playing Jailer as well....


                      • #12
                        In my agency, we have the roles separated out. One position (call taker) answers all the emergency and non-emergency phone calls. The other position (dispatcher) handles all the radio traffic for the officers and hose draggers. The dispatchers are never in phone contact with the callers, except for an occasional requested callback. Conversely, the complaint takers are never in contact with the responders. We average over half a million incoming calls a year, covering a population of 500,000.

                        As LaPlaca stated, turnover is VERY high in an emergency communications center.

                        My agency does not use 10 codes, but all employees are required, and well versed in the few codes we do us, the call signs for responders, policies/procedures, phonetics, job lingo, etc.


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