Dispatch Floor Operations

Public Safety Communications (PSC) is staffed 24/7, 365 days a year without a single second break in coverage; it takes an entire team of well-trained and dedicated individuals to run such an operation. Three separate shifts (morning, evening, and deep nights) maintain a roster of 12 to15 dispatchers and at least 1 Dispatch Supervisor at all times; these members are trained in specialized areas of call-taking, Police dispatch, fire dispatch and NCIC operations.

Call Taking
The PSC call-taker is the link between citizens and all Police / Fire / EMS emergency and non-emergency services. In 2013 the call-takers processed 320,991 calls in 24 different languages (through the use of Language Line Services ), 159,740 of those on 9-1-1. Call-takers are trained to handle the enormous variety in call content such as calls about illegally parked vehicles, domestic disturbances, traffic accidents, and life-saving medical calls, to name only a few.

If it is determined that a call for service is necessary, a call will be entered into our Computer Aided Dispatch system. This system contains a detailed map of Plano and is linked to a massive database with premise information (burglar alarm permits, business names and locations, etc). The call taker will enter important information into a call-screen which updates instantly to others. The call-screen will then be pulled up by our Police and/or Fire dispatchers who will assign appropriate units to respond, and continue to update information to responders as the call-taker gets it from you.

Police Dispatch
The city of Plano has 2 main police radio channels that Police dispatchers operate. Each dispatcher is responsible for assigning multiple calls to different units, maintaining unit status on mark-out locations such as traffic stops and investigations, checking returns for stolen vehicles, and sending back-up units when needed. These dispatchers are thoroughly trained to be constantly aware of issues involving officer and citizen safety. Having multiple channels for the city also allows a channel to be "closed" if needed, allowing only radio traffic related to a major event such as a high priority in-progress call or a pursuit.

Fire & Emergency Medical Services Dispatch
A City of Plano Fire Dispatcher can operate as many as a dozen different radio channels at any given time. Fire dispatchers are tasked with promptly dispatching appropriate responses to fire and medical calls for the city of Plano, Lucas, and Parker. They are also to ensure adequate resource coverage for the city during high volume emergency times (i.e. structure fires, special rescues, or major weather situations). Fire dispatchers also monitor and direct the cities outdoor warning system and cable override functions.

NCIC Operations
NCIC (National Crime Information Center) Operations is basically the "detective" and administrative side of PSC. Tasks include entering and confirming / checking for warrants for persons and stolen property (such as a vehicle), ordering wreckers for accidents and arrests, sending emergency bulletins to nearby (or even national) agencies with important information, and even assisting officers and call-takers to trace cell phones or sort through records in an attempt to locate a caller who might not be able to provide a location.