Thursday, August 17, 2006

Regular or Rotating?

Chicago Dispatchers blog is addressing the question of whether or not zones should have regular dispatchers on regular shifts or should there be some variation by week, month or some other time frame.

Just our two cents - regular is better. Teamwork is the key to any success. And any way you read it, Dispatchers are part of the team. We might fight and feud occasionally, but when we need help, that's who we're talking to in order to get help there quick. And someone who knows the zone, knows the area, knows the people is more likely to get us the help we need promptly. Hell, we'd like to see the Dispatchers do once or twice yearly ride alongs just so they can see the situation on the ground and what we deal with day in and day out. Plus it might actually build a little closer bond for the team. Opinions?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I vote for regulars with ride alongs 2-3X a year.

Who was the dispatcher (over 15 years ago) that would announce a call asking for response units "silly-wide"? (instead of city-wide). There were some great dispatchers that would really look out for you back then.

8/16/2006 11:25:00 PM  
Anonymous whelp and the siren song said...

Were in partnership, yes it is team work their our voice. I say train them on all zones only to better their response time and understanding across the board as needed. Then when their ready hook um up to regular zones, so we can all really get the job done more effectively and safely. Leave the trained and regulars alone and let them do their job.

Ride along is a good idea. Hit the car with a worker and their in for a whirl wind eye opening tour. A night which will be filled with experience for all, based on calls, theirs and ours. Make sure their strapped in though and covered, LOL.

8/17/2006 12:08:00 AM  
Anonymous yahoomushmouse said...

Regulars don't matter look at the gal on midnights on CW2. INCOMPETANT!

8/17/2006 12:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I say stay with regulars. I am very attached to my spatchers.

MJ & LR Z1 U da best!!

8/17/2006 12:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dump all civilian dispatchers and bring back the real police to the zones. Now THAT would be an improvement!

8/17/2006 01:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not that our opinions matter, but my partner and I have discussed ride alongs for dispatchers on numerous occasions. They scream when we don't answer up immediately, but have no idea what it's like to be playing referee/social worker/marriage counselor out here. So lets get them some vests and show them what the streets are really like.
And yes, we need regular dispatchers, when we have them, they don't have to ask who has the emergency, they know. On our zone we have some great dispatchers and we may yell and even occasionally argue with them, they take care of us and we appreciate them.

8/17/2006 01:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I vote that everyone and their brother should be subjected to caps meetings also. rapids,gang,tac, w/c's, dispatchers, call takers, fireman, paramedics, streets and san, animal control, etc, etc.

8/17/2006 02:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen..... Ride alongs a great idea.

8/17/2006 02:15:00 AM  
Blogger anon ymous said...

What happens when you get stuck with marble mouth? IF they did a better job of hiring people I would be fine with regular dispatchers.

8/17/2006 02:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That would've been Stan the Man who made Zone 10 AKA "the Wild Kingdom" famous. Slip and slide dirty clyde.

8/17/2006 02:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm for the ride alongs. Friends have offered. I'm not volunteering for it, I refuse to sign a waiver stating the city isn't liable. If the Oec deems it part of our training, then oec has to be responsible. I found it a great source of information when I became a dispatcher.
I prefer being a regular on any zone. Takes me a couple days to get used to a new zone, and a few weeks for personalities, and a few months for voices.

8/17/2006 04:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

those dispatchers 15 years ago were the police. They knew where we were and sometimes coordinated responding officers to cut off the bad guys. While the civilians do a fair job (we all have had run ins with them and there are some very good ones), they don't have the street experience and tactical thinking officers do.

I vote for assigned dispatchers.

8/17/2006 06:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you remember Donnie Meyer on Zone 2? Now that was a dispatcher. He made dispatching an art.

8/17/2006 06:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MJ on zone 1 does a good job!

8/17/2006 06:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The dispatchers should rotate if the police rotate and regular if the police stay regular.

Rotating the way we use to do, every 28 days from midnights to afternoons to days, made us very irregular, if you know what I mean.
But at least you got to work days some time in your youth. Now, a young P.O. stuck on midnights and afternoons for years, I would have been a fireman.

The city should hire retired P.O.s as dispatchers, nothing like the experience of being there.

8/17/2006 07:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A question to dispatchers: WHY, on silly jobs with no offenders, no emergency MUST you read the entire call to us? Isn't the PDT there for a reason? And WHY read an entire job to us when we are already on a call and "dealing" with a problem? We have PDT's for a reason and we are able to read.

8/17/2006 08:30:00 AM  
Anonymous 5237WChicago said...

But at least you got to work days some time in your youth. Now, a young P.O. stuck on midnights and afternoons for years, I would have been a fireman.


How soon people forget. For the first couple of years on the job you rotated, alright. Midnights and afternoons and no weekends, unless you had a chinaman to help you get a steady watch to rotate on. These new guys, (under 15 years have no clue to what used to happen),

8/17/2006 08:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would hope they stay regular. How many times have you called for help with no time to identify yourself. They knew your voice, they knew your location... the cavalry was coming.

8/17/2006 08:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am all for regulars, unless you get stuck on a zone with bad ones like I am!!!!! In my old districts I was spoiled with great dispatchers. Now I am stuck with one in particular who is from the bottom of the barrel.
As a longtime P.O. and family member of a dispatcher, I can see some from both sides of the coin with regard to the civilians. Sure, it would be nice to have P.O.s up there, but some of the best I have dealt with over the years have been civilians, and some of the worst have been P.O.s. Dogs are dogs whether they have a star or not, and some of the police dispatchers are up there because they were mutts on the streets and wouldn't know how to coordinate any sort of incident. Think of it this way; think of a dumb P.O. you know. Now, would you prefer that person as your dispatcher or a bright civilian who has never been the police?

8/17/2006 08:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I vote that everyone and their brother should be subjected to caps meetings also. rapids,gang,tac, w/c's, dispatchers, call takers, fireman, paramedics, streets and san, animal control, etc, etc. "

8/17/2006 02:14:13 AM

It sounds all fine and dandy in a perfect world.... But how about some citizens actually showing up to a CAPS meeting! To have all those mentioned above show up for the same 2- 4 "regulars" that do attend a beat meeting is a complete waste. I know this probably dosen't pertain to some beats out there in the city, but it happens.

People do not care enough in our city to to put aside 30 min to an hour once a month (every 3 months in some beats because of low attendance records) to know what is going on in their community.

8/17/2006 09:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The events are read out in entirety for officer safety reasons. Your coworkers can hear, where, who, what is going on with your job. Example. Dist. Panhandler at gas station. M/2/44
green army jkt, black pants, scruffy. nfi,, Now you go to this call 99, because when I sent you, you refused your asst and gave back up a disregard because its a BS call. Now you get stabbed in the chest with his pocket knife. Now all your peers have a flash of the offender.
Alot of the field units either have pdts that don't work or none at all.
Civilians got the job because the FOP let them have it. Brotherhood dropped the ball. Just like now FOP allowed TMA's to take over a police officers job.

8/17/2006 10:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having a regular dispatcher is a no-brainer. You would also think they would like a ride-along once in a while. I think the biggest problem is the call takers. They used to be sitting with the dispatcher and they would know when something big was kicking off. The important questions would get answered with the Police on the way. A recent example was a call of a robbery at a bank. There were no details, just a complainant's name and no description. Just as Police arrive, the hold-up alarm there is dispatched. Seems the original caller was a bank employee who was watching and could have provided some important details.

8/17/2006 10:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The dispatcher who said "sillywide units" units anywhere in the universe, his name was pete, last name escapes me, on zone 12 he used to tell teh newbies to throw the coffee out the window cause he was giving them a hot call then give them a bs priceless.

8/17/2006 01:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem with the thought of the way it use to be is that its in the past. Rotating watches, loosing your weekend every time it came around, pre-union days and police dispatchers vs civilian dispatchers is that was then and this is now. It's all pretty much irrelevant when taken in context.

How affected were we trained old school when we were reminded in the past of no union, the small wages, no FTO, kid they gave you a car and you went out alone to figure it out. For myself I had to admire and respect these cops experience, learn what I could extract from them without a hammer, gain their respect and some what marvel at all the changes. which I think may have been harder on them then those of us who remember the beginning of the union and experienced the rotation and the restructuring of the dispatch center and dispatchers.

We had our share of terrible police dispatchers drunk on the zone, not responding to 10-1's, bad diction, frequent redlining the list goes on and on. We had our good and bad just like today.

The difference with a civilian dispatcher vs police dispatch is there is less of a connection. There was no two year tour prior to hitting the zone, no working the district then hitting the zone, and police thinking a big advantage to the units.

Dispatchers now work under their own set of orders/directives the city removed them from the direct link of the police realm and our experienced way of thinking. For some reason the city wanted them as far from our way of thinking as possible, a conquer and divide was initiated.

It's hard to think like the police unless you are the police, many can imitate and learn but their still removed, were all familiar with this.

We are what we are and were all left to work through this with one another. Their reaching out to us. The changes are and have been inevitable and we are in partnership in spite of mgmt. a plus. Consider this old school in a new format where we can once again choose to move in the right direction.

Whether or not there are those that consider it for the betterment or not of all, we can both educate one another but for us to them only so far. It is what it is. Communication remains the open key.

8/17/2006 02:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Dick Trickle said...

All I know is that my favorite dispatcher in the whole world, the old Navy corpsman, "DOC", serves an ice cold fucking beer at 3636.


8/17/2006 02:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ernie HUERTA and pals on Zone #3 years ago-some of the finest!

8/17/2006 03:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 3 regulars on Z3 3rd watch, (SC,EK,KO), are great. Having regulars makes all kinds of sense.

8/17/2006 07:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pete and Redline Hayes on Zone 12. They even showed up at the allnight party at Hanson Park School.

8/17/2006 09:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dump all civilian dispatchers and bring back the real police to the zones. Now THAT would be an improvement!

8/17/2006 01:02:33 AM

I have to agree. I have not heard a whole lot of good things from dispatchers since they brought in civilians.

8/18/2006 01:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brian F a dispatcher now on days! You da man. You made the tour fun and you are damn good what you do buddy! Its always a pleasure werkin da air with you!!

Hey u dewin?

8/18/2006 07:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please, for one extended incident on zone 10 in the '90s, old-skool bosses, field POs and media monitors uniformly reported that 3 civilians did the best job of dispatching that had ever been heard.

OTOH, if you want to hear good "stuff", perhaps you should start listening to Disney radio. Police radios aren't for the weak of heart.

8/18/2006 12:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

they are all precinct captains. unless you can't see that Ritchie has a bigger patronage army than his father did. However, it won't change. Real police will never work there again. Just put someone on the air that speaks English rather than swahili.

8/18/2006 04:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am one of the newer dispatchers out on the floor. During training, they had us bouncing around from one zone to the next, and now that we are off of probation, some of us are sitting at the same zone every day. Honestly, I prefer having a set zone. I'm slowly starting to recongize units by voice and I know which units are more willing to go out of their way to help. Although we did limited ride alongs during training, I am currently planning on riding along with one of the units on the zone that I have been sitting on. I'm working on learning the landmarks and the little tricks and tips that the zone has that will help me be a better dispatcher and help makes things flow better for you guys out in the street doing the dirty work. I hope to be sitting on Zone 12 for as long as they let me...

8/18/2006 10:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

04:25:58 PM .....

Don't know about any precinct captains...However, a few years back there was a bunch of the good reverend's church folk that were hired.

8/19/2006 08:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Sir Donkey, jr said...

Gonzalez and Weiss....still one of the best teams up there. We miss them on Z-12.

8/21/2006 03:24:00 AM  

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