Public Safety Communications (1240B)

Program Outcome Statement

To provide excellent Police, Fire, and Medical emergency dispatch and communications services by acting quickly and decisively in order to achieve safety and quality of life for those we serve.

Program Services

  • Operation Center Services
  • Program and Customer Services
  • Support Services

Overview

Public Safety Communications' (PSC) core mission is to provide 9-1-1 emergency and non-emergency public safety answering/call-taking services. PSC serves Fire, Law Enforcement, and Emergency Medical agencies by obtaining information needed from those who call for assistance and relaying information to field responders. Communications Center staff assess the situation at hand, dispatch the appropriate resources and track all activities of the caller and responders. Program and Customer Services serve the mission by providing specialized technology that is maintained by highly trained department personnel. This equipment facilitates efficient use by 9-1-1 Dispatchers and provides interfaces to technology in the field for first responders. In addition, Program Managers and Supervisors liaison to over 50 customer and allied agencies and respond to inquiries or comments from the public. Support Services provides the needed backbone of the Department, facilitating administration, training, and quality assurance.

Percent of High Priority 9-1-1 Calls Processed Within Established Time Frames- Improving

Customer Service Feedback Rated as Excellent - Steady


9-1-1 Calls Received, Answered Within 10 Seconds- Improving

FY 2018-19 Mid-Year Story Behind Performance

With the newly constructed Regional Operations Center (ROC) nearing completion and the procurement of a new Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system, the Department is on the brink of exciting change and improvement.
Operations Center Services
Employee performance and customer satisfaction are one of the highest priorities of the department. This starts with efforts to raise and stabilize staffing levels in the Dispatch Center. Numerous efforts to increase the size of the candidate pool has included the creation of the 911 Calltaker position, which will serve as an entry level position and reduce calltaking demands on Dispatchers, working with Human Resources to conduct continuous recruitment of all Dispatcher positions, and offering incentive pay for Training Officers and special detail work. PSC training staff continues to conduct outstanding academic and on-the-job training. A department-wide implementation of the new CAD is launching now, which will require training of all staff. We have formed CAD user groups to inform this training process.
Program and Customer Service
PSC’s continues high commitment towards customer satisfaction which reflects in over 13 years of respondents rating our services as good to excellent in all areas. In addition, PSC continues to surpass compliance standards set by the National Academy of Emergency Dispatch for Emergency Medical call-taking. In 2018, PSC received its fifth accreditation as a Center of Excellence. Achieving this goal has put PSC in a distinguished status of remaining accredited for over 10 consecutive years, being one of 141 Dispatch Centers worldwide and 1 of 12 within the State of California.
Support Services
With maximum effort being expended towards planning a large department move in the next year, purchasing everything from state of the art Dispatch consoles to the updated Geographic Information System (GIS) and other new improvements and upgrades to the CAD system, and to staffing and recruitment, the Department has also begun working towards greater health and resilience for our Dispatchers.

Future Priorities

  • PSC’s goal to recruit, select and hire new staff continues to be top priority, in spite of challenges caused by high housing costs, rigorous hiring requirements, and retirement of long term employees. 37 new dispatchers and calltakers have been hired since 2015 and 24 remain on staff with recruitment ongoing.
  • Ongoing goals as PSC transitions to the new Regional Operations Center will be: 1) Succession planning to seamlessly replace long term staff and managers as they retire; 2) An emphasis on wellness and resiliency for Dispatchers; 3) Retaining employees who have completed the long process of training.
  • Customer service feedback continues to be rated as high, while the Operations Managers work with agency representatives to mitigate inquiries, refine policy and procedure, and create operational plans for new events and programs.

Author: Christine Hollender, Business Manager of Public Safety Communications     Contact Email: chollender@smcgov.org
Updated: 02-11-19