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Drac

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There has to be a few dispatchers here or those officers like myself who have been cross-trained to function as one..Do the bosses give an air check to prospective ones?? They may sound fine across the desk at an interview, but when they get on the air they are VERY DIFFICULT to understand..I have had to ask too many to "repeat last ". The call card function on the MDT helps alot , but there are times when you have to rely on what they are saying...Comments?
 

Ken Morgan

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Im not in the business but I hear you.

Some people mumble, or speak with a difficult accent. Frustrating in person, let alone on a radio. They need to be trained to speak on the radio phonetically, pronouncing their words clearly and with volume.

How many times do you go through a drive through, and you have no idea what the other people said?
 

jks9199

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Having had to sit in the dispatch chair myself... I gotta note that the fault goes both ways. There are plenty of cops out there who are all but unintelligible over the radio... too soft ('cause they're talking over & not into their shoulder mike), or too loud or just plain sounding like they're gargling rocks...

But an air check for prospective dispatchers would be a good idea. (And cops should hear how they sound sometimes, too!)
 

Archangel M

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In my experience..some cops have the mike way too far or way to close to their mouths. Some cops dont even take the mike off the hook..they just reach over and key it.
 
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Drac

Drac

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In my experience..some cops have the mike way too far or way to close to their mouths. Some cops dont even take the mike off the hook..they just reach over and key it.

jks9119 said:
Having had to sit in the dispatch chair myself... I gotta note that the fault goes both ways. There are plenty of cops out there who are all but unintelligible over the radio... too soft ('cause they're talking over & not into their shoulder mike), or too loud or just plain sounding like they're gargling rocks...

Did you guys work for my old full time department?? Cause everything you've said I have seen..
 

jks9199

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Did you guys work for my old full time department?? Cause everything you've said I have seen..
Well... I gotta admit, I was one of the "talking over the mike" guys. Till I listened to myself on the recordings one day.

I think both dispatchers and cops should listen to some of their traffic a time or two a year. We all develop habits and slip into bad practices, and that's a great reminder about what you're doing.
 

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There has to be a few dispatchers here or those officers like myself who have been cross-trained to function as one..Do the bosses give an air check to prospective ones?? They may sound fine across the desk at an interview, but when they get on the air they are VERY DIFFICULT to understand..I have had to ask too many to "repeat last ". The call card function on the MDT helps alot , but there are times when you have to rely on what they are saying...Comments?

I deal with this everyday that I go to work. I put the blame on both parties, as they're both guilty of speaking poorly. We have people that don't talk loud enough, mumble, do what I call the 'power yell', which roughly translates to what Archangel said, by not taking the mic and brining it to their mouth.

As to the pre-job air check....not where I work. The speaking issues are usually addressed during the on the job training.

Personally, I'm a stickler for making sure that I can hear the cops, and that I, as well as anyone else that I'm dispatching with, is talking clear. I have no bones about asking someone to repeat themselves. If I acknowledge someone, giving them the impression that I heard them and know what they're doing, where they are, etc, but I really dont and something happens, its going to be my *** on the line.
 
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Drac

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At one department I worked for we had dispatchers that used the term "My Bad" a lot..When I complained to the Commander I got the old " What should we do, fire her??" I of course answered " YES"..
 

MJS

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At one department I worked for we had dispatchers that used the term "My Bad" a lot..When I complained to the Commander I got the old " What should we do, fire her??" I of course answered " YES"..

Oh yeah, being professional on the radio seems like its a thing of the past where I am. I had to laugh the other day. One of the cops was on patrol and was trying to catch up to this guy on a M/C that was driving fast, weaving in and out of traffic, etc. So, he starts to chase after him, and he eventually did catch him. So, while he's chasing, the Sgt. on the road, asked the officer what the charges were. The officer replies, "He was driving like an idiot and almost caused a few accidents." So, what does the Sgt say? "Ok, after you're done with him, come and see me, so we can discuss proper radio etiquette."

I'm sitting there in dispatch thinking to myself, "What a ****ing *******!" This Sgt., now, and even when he was in patrol, doesn't have a professional bone in him. The cop came into dispatch later on that night to visit and we had a good laugh over it. I told him I was speechless when he said that to him. Kinda like the pot calling kettle black.
 

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Oh yeah, being professional on the radio seems like its a thing of the past where I am. I had to laugh the other day. One of the cops was on patrol and was trying to catch up to this guy on a M/C that was driving fast, weaving in and out of traffic, etc. So, he starts to chase after him, and he eventually did catch him. So, while he's chasing, the Sgt. on the road, asked the officer what the charges were. The officer replies, "He was driving like an idiot and almost caused a few accidents." So, what does the Sgt say? "Ok, after you're done with him, come and see me, so we can discuss proper radio etiquette."

I'm sitting there in dispatch thinking to myself, "What a ****ing *******!" This Sgt., now, and even when he was in patrol, doesn't have a professional bone in him. The cop came into dispatch later on that night to visit and we had a good laugh over it. I told him I was speechless when he said that to him. Kinda like the pot calling kettle black.
It's the plain English protocols. Everyone's forgetting to keep messages concise and limited to pertinent information. There's nothing more annoying to me than trying to get on the air with something kind of important to what's going on -- like maybe I'm out with four suspects by myself -- and having to wait either for a dispatcher to finish their dissertation about a driving history or some cop is taking 2 minutes to clear a call "Gone on arrival."
 
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Drac

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It's the plain English protocols. Everyone's forgetting to keep messages concise and limited to pertinent information. There's nothing more annoying to me than trying to get on the air with something kind of important to what's going on -- like maybe I'm out with four suspects by myself -- and having to wait either for a dispatcher to finish their dissertation about a driving history or some cop is taking 2 minutes to clear a call "Gone on arrival."

Amen Brother...
 

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I have been in police work for 40+ years, so I have some horror stories... I was in "communications for about 4 years with my previous department, and I participate in employment interviews for prospective dispatchers now.

Back when I first got on a radio, they were all equipped with VU meters. We were drilled to keep our "needle" in the middle of the range; to maintain a "well modulated" voice much like commercial radio station announcers do.

That all seems to have gone by-by now.

We have had dispatchers who became panicky and freaked out, others that made no attempt to keep track of what the officers were doing, and others who were essentially unitelligible.
At the same time, we have seen officers who do the same thing; we presently have a guy who is just awful about telling you where he is.....
 

Bill Mattocks

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I've been on both sides of the mike...

From a dispatcher's point of view:

* Hey guys, how about clearing your calls? If you've written the ticket or taken the report or done the FI, how about you know maybe letting us know? I can't tell you how much we like sitting on a call in your zone, then finally dispatching it to someone from an adjacent zone, only to hear you step on the mike and announce you'll take it - but we didn't know that because you can't be bothered to clear.

* How about a code 4 when you are code 4 after pulling traffic? We don't get a response after 2 minutes, we start rolling backup. Either give us a code 4 or stay by the mike so we can bug you for it.

* If the scope is down, we can't run wants and warrants. That also means we can't run criminal histories. We'll let you know when it's up again. Sorry, but deal with it.

* Somebody ought to consider speaking into the mike instead of past it once in awhile. I know those shoulder lapel mikes are cool and all, but if you don't turn your head when you key the mike, we can't hear you - we hear the guy you're talking to.

* And while we're speaking of mikes, here's a tip. Press the button before you start talking and then let go after you stop talking. If you're unit 3-5-2 and all we hear is "bzzt-crackle-two," we don't know who you are. If you find we say 'last unit' over and over with regard to your traffic, you're the one, by the way.

* The land line is taped just like the radio. Calling us from your cell phones or a pay phone won't give us free reign to tell you what we'd like to say and you'd like to hear us say - our calls are routinely monitored by the shift supervisor, you know that. If we can't say it over the net, we can't say it over the phone. Meet us at the sally port if you want to get the low-down.

* 10-3 the net means 10-3 the net. Stop talking. You should know that your watch commander is the only one who can give a 10-3 order, so if I'm saying 10-3 the net, it's really him that's saying it, not some lowly dispatcher. So shut up, already.

However, by and large, during my time as a dispatcher, we got along very well with our officers, and they got along with us. We all felt like members of the same team, and that was a good thing. I always tried to be professional, level-headed, and keep track of my officers to keep them safe.

When an officer pulled traffic, I always knew where my other free officers were in case I needed to start rolling units their way. I kept on good terms with neighboring jurisdictions so that if I needed to ask them to roll in they'd be willing to do it without a lot of red tape and supervisors involved. I passed good scoop and kept officers in the loop on what they needed to know to stay safe, like drunk or crazy r/p's, you know.

You might also know that most of us are also call takers when things get busy. Sometimes we're running a channel and taking 911 calls at the same time, and that can be a real task to manage.

Try taking a call from a little girl whose dad just stabbed her mom in front of her and is now waving 'goodbye' to her from the picnic table in the back yard where he has fashioned a rope noose and he hangs himself in front of her while she is on the phone with 911 AND you're keying the mike and saying UNIT 3-5-1, I REPEAT, I HAVE TRAFFIC! Yeah, I know you have traffic, stand by one, ok? Some times you just have to be big boy and wait a second or two.

Anyway, just remembering old times. Mostly good times. Some not so good. But I always respected my officers and tried to protect them, and they always did the same to us.
 

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From the other side...when I am behind a stolen MV and I call "Car 16 to radio", I like to get an IMMEDIATE reply. Not a 1....2.....3....4....5...."Car 16".

I HATE it when dispatchers have to finish their conversation with their co-worker, finish their game of free cell or take one more bite of their pizza before answering the radio.

GAHH!!
 

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How about the dispatcher having to wake up to respond...

And I wish I was joking. We had one who routinely "dozed" on midnights, and actually was annoyed if you tried to do something silly like stop cars and run the drivers, disrupting their nap.

One agency in my area has a dispatcher with such a thick accent that she's hard to understand... The concern was brought up during the hiring process, but the brass decided it wasn't important.

Then there are the dispatchers (and cops) that always sound like EVERYTHING is urgent and life and death... even coming on or off shift.
 
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Drac

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How about the dispatcher having to wake up to respond...

And I wish I was joking. We had one who routinely "dozed" on midnights, and actually was annoyed if you tried to do something silly like stop cars and run the drivers, disrupting their nap.

One agency in my area has a dispatcher with such a thick accent that she's hard to understand... The concern was brought up during the hiring process, but the brass decided it wasn't important.

Then there are the dispatchers (and cops) that always sound like EVERYTHING is urgent and life and death... even coming on or off shift.

I was asked to fill in for one of the dispatchers on day turn..Upon arrival the male dispatcher on duty said "Man, am I glad they sent you cause I gotta lotta stuff I have to input and I know you can handle the CAD and the mike work"..He was asleep about 5 min later...He was eventually let go for putting a 9-1-1 call on hold while he finished a call to his girlfriend..
 
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Drac

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I've been on both sides of the mike...

From a dispatcher's point of view:

* Hey guys, how about clearing your calls? If you've written the ticket or taken the report or done the FI, how about you know maybe letting us know? I can't tell you how much we like sitting on a call in your zone, then finally dispatching it to someone from an adjacent zone, only to hear you step on the mike and announce you'll take it - but we didn't know that because you can't be bothered to clear.

That use to happen a lot at my place job...

*
How about a code 4 when you are code 4 after pulling traffic? We don't get a response after 2 minutes, we start rolling backup. Either give us a code 4 or stay by the mike so we can bug you for it.

We call it " 33"

**
If the scope is down, we can't run wants and warrants. That also means we can't run criminal histories. We'll let you know when it's up again. Sorry, but deal with it.

Amen brother...I have heard the dispatchers at the old job tell us after we called in service that CRIS was down and not 5 mins later someone was requesting a QWW ( query wants and warrants)

*quote=Bill Mattocks;1221374] Somebody ought to consider speaking into the mike instead of past it once in awhile. I know those shoulder lapel mikes are cool and all, but if you don't turn your head when you key the mike, we can't hear you - we hear the guy you're talking to.

Those ones where the mike is up your sleeve and the speaker is in your ear ALWAYS sound muffled

*quote=Bill Mattocks;1221374] And while we're speaking of mikes, here's a tip. Press the button before you start talking and then let go after you stop talking. If you're unit 3-5-2 and all we hear is "bzzt-crackle-two," we don't know who you are. If you find we say 'last unit' over and over with regard to your traffic, you're the one, by the way.

* The land line is taped just like the radio. Calling us from your cell phones or a pay phone won't give us free reign to tell you what we'd like to say and you'd like to hear us say - our calls are routinely monitored by the shift supervisor, you know that. If we can't say it over the net, we can't say it over the phone. Meet us at the sally port if you want to get the low-down.

* 10-3 the net means 10-3 the net. Stop talking. You should know that your watch commander is the only one who can give a 10-3 order, so if I'm saying 10-3 the net, it's really him that's saying it, not some lowly dispatcher. So shut up, already.

However, by and large, during my time as a dispatcher, we got along very well with our officers, and they got along with us. We all felt like members of the same team, and that was a good thing. I always tried to be professional, level-headed, and keep track of my officers to keep them safe.

When an officer pulled traffic, I always knew where my other free officers were in case I needed to start rolling units their way. I kept on good terms with neighboring jurisdictions so that if I needed to ask them to roll in they'd be willing to do it without a lot of red tape and supervisors involved. I passed good scoop and kept officers in the loop on what they needed to know to stay safe, like drunk or crazy r/p's, you know.

You might also know that most of us are also call takers when things get busy. Sometimes we're running a channel and taking 911 calls at the same time, and that can be a real task to manage.

Try taking a call from a little girl whose dad just stabbed her mom in front of her and is now waving 'goodbye' to her from the picnic table in the back yard where he has fashioned a rope noose and he hangs himself in front of her while she is on the phone with 911 AND you're keying the mike and saying UNIT 3-5-1, I REPEAT, I HAVE TRAFFIC! Yeah, I know you have traffic, stand by one, ok? Some times you just have to be big boy and wait a second or two.

Anyway, just remembering old times. Mostly good times. Some not so good. But I always respected my officers and tried to protect them, and they always did the same to us.

Yup to all the above...
 

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We have a few really good ones, one that is in another world and one who thinks that she :tantrum: is the shift super.
 

jks9199

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We have a few really good ones, one that is in another world and one who thinks that she :tantrum: is the shift super.
Hell... We've got one dispatcher who thinks she's the chief!
 

Bill Mattocks

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Just remember who has the big mike...

Unit 5-3-2.

Unit 5-3-2, go ahead.

Unit 5-3-2, request EOS (end of shift, for civilians).

Unit 5-3-2, negative on EOS, remain in service.

For those who aren't aware of it, during shift change, somebody has to remain on patrol while the other units come in, drop off their vehicles, chit-chat with the oncoming shift, and the new crew gets on the road and takes their positions. So somebody is always a half hour or so late coming in. And sometimes it's coincidentally the guy who always gives dispatch a hard time.

I'm just saying...having been on both sides of the mike, I always thought it was a good idea to keep dispatch happy.

Same was true with the ER admitting nurse at Holy Tony's Knife and Gun Club. Make her mad and you'd spend the night in the ER trying to get your puking drunk admitted. Funny how that works.
 
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