POLICE Magazine

JUL 2018

Magazine for police and law enforcement

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S P E C I A L R E P O R T • M I S S I O N C R I T I C A L C O M M U N I C AT I O N S 17 o Know Dean Scoville, former senior editor at POLICE Magazine, retired from the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department as a sergeant. 5 SLOW DOWN AND TAKE A BREATH Unless it's an emergency, take your time in relaying informa- tion to dispatchers, especially when they have to transcribe your request. Odds are the dispatcher was not a stenographer in a previous life, so save the auctioneer cadence for another time. And remember, most of the time you can run, or you can talk—odds are you can't do both, at least not to the extent that anyone can understand you over a radio. Prioritize and decide what is your true priority: Catching the suspect yourself or co- ordinating assistance to help you catch him. 6 KNOW HOW TO ASK DISPATCHERS FOR INFORMATION Dunaway says that cops should give her everything they need on a subject in the beginning of their request instead of asking for it piecemeal. "Most of us will drop the information once we give it out and get ready for the next transmission," she says. "Most tele- communicators will give you a hint about how they need informa- tion given to them. We have several databases that we work with and each one is different. I consistently get about half of my depu- ties who give me last name first, even aer I ask for first name first. Another thing that bugs us to no end is when there's more than one unit on scene and both will run the same person." 7 STICK TO BUSINESS Many a female telecommunicator has heard it said that she has what is known as "dispatcher voice," a tone that inspires all man- ner of fantasy. But we're dealing in reality and on the depart- ment's dime. Don't try to romance the dispatcher on the job. 8 SHOW SOME PROFESSIONAL DISCIPLINE In emergencies, dispatchers know that you will be responding. Many agencies now have technology that lets them know that you are rolling with lights and siren and where you are rolling from. If such information stands to be redundant, and there is an officer who is trying to put out suspect information or request for para- medics, that's the voice the dispatcher needs to focus on. Please give the dispatcher the opportunity to hear it. Also, dispatchers are aware that you are "running a firearm." If the dispatcher tells you that he or she is on the phone, it may well be because the fire- arm had been stolen a half-hour before and the dispatcher has the victim on the line. If it is something less substantial, you can hold the dispatcher accountable later. In the meantime, give him or her the benefit of the doubt. 9 SHOW SOME COMPASSION Believe it or not, dispatchers care. ey are oen just as anxious to know what has happened to their fellow public safety employees as you are. If you think about it, let them know how the situation ended. It gives them closure to know who survived and who was sent to jail. Better yet, stop by sometime to let them know when they've done a particularly good job coordinating a broadcast. at really makes their day. 10 REMEMBER DISPATCHERS CAN HELP YOU If you anticipate the possibility of some complicating presence, let the dispatcher know. If you have a backdrop concern, the dispatch- er can contact residents or occupants and have them evacuate a location via a rear door. n

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