Dispatcher Use Clues in Domestic Dispute

March 30, 2021 by Devin Culham

Dispatcher Use Clues in Domestic Dispute

For dispatchers, no call is exactly the same.

Calls can range in seriousness and severity, which means dispatchers must always be ready to make decisions that can impact lives. Because of this, it’s important for dispatchers to use a computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system that works with them to send a fast, data-driven response.

“What people don't realize when they're calling dispatcher is that a dispatcher constantly working,” said Kelly Clingman of Grand Junction Police Department in Colorado. “What's nice about CAD technology is that it’s specifically for dispatchers. I can be putting in a call, or putting in the notes, and you'll get those immediately.”

In Grand Junction, Clingman says for every dispatcher that’s on the phone, there are three or four people working simultaneously across different sections in public safety.

For a domestic abuse call, having extra hands on deck can be a critical factor in delivering a response.

“Grand Junction dispatchers got a call from a lady who wasn’t able to say much, but she left her phone on and dispatch stayed on the phone the entire time,” shared Clingman. “They would get little clues every now and then they would hear a name, and using CAD, they were able to type in that name and get another clue.”

Clingman says, that because of the information that dispatchers were able to extract from the call and enter into the CAD system, the agency was able to deploy officers to the woman’s location and prevent anything worse from happening.

Clingman credits the staff and the CAD system for turning a desperate situation into a happy one.

“If you have just a standalone system or just paper and pen, that would have been close to impossible,” said Clingman.

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