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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 12/8/2001 10:44:48 AM EST
We have been using MDTs for about 3 or 4 years now and as a supervisor have recently been battling dispatcher supervisors over what I refer to as Covert dispatching of calls over MDT. My argument was always to them that how can other officers and field supervisors know where other officers are at if all in progress calls are not voiced. Hell if I had my way even not in progress calls would be voiced. One of the dispatchers explained to me about larger departments "stacking" their calls. I work for a department with about 280 officers so maybe one of the officers with a larger department could elaborate on this. Bottom line here is that in my opinion covert dispatching over MDT is just a way for the dispathcers to relieve their workload and is in fact a safety hazard for the officer. I have instructed my officers to acknowledge by voice ALL calls received by MDT so we know where they are going. My question is what is your opinion on the use of MDTs for that purpose. I know they are great for everything else. Do you agree or not.
Link Posted: 12/8/2001 10:56:15 AM EST
Our dept requires all calls or on view activity to be put over the radio even if they are logged out on the MDT. My agency is about the same size as yours. MDT's are great to have but can be a pain.
Link Posted: 12/8/2001 11:04:39 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/8/2001 10:57:34 AM EST by Sukebe]
Only our traffic bureau has them so all calls and radio traffic are voice communications. I think my department is typical in that we a budgeted enough money to purchase technology and not enough for maintenance. Every thing technology related we buy such as MDT's, in car video, vehicle locators etc. falls into disrepair and is never utilized to it's full potential. MDT's are a great tool however, we run two man cars in most beats and we are driving Impalas. There just isn't enough room for the MDT's that my department has budgeted for. The traffic bureau runs one man cars. I agree that calls should be by voice communication as well.
Link Posted: 12/8/2001 11:44:59 AM EST
1300 or so officers, combined dispatch for fire/pd/ems, and ALL calls go out on the radio before being sent out on the MDT. Of course, each sector has a dedicated radio, (Baker dispatcher only handles officers logged into Baker district for example) so the workload is not unworkable for the individual dispatcher. Try this: Our Motorola MDT's can "echo calls" that means any call sent to you, gets sent to anyone else that you choose at logon. That way, other officers get the call at the same time you do, and just have to push a button to get assigned as your backup.
Link Posted: 12/9/2001 8:51:23 AM EST
Thanks for the replies guys. Oh and don't forget about the once a year accident where an officer typing or reading his mdt rearends someone or hits a bridge railing. Not good. Thanks again.
Link Posted: 12/9/2001 2:48:09 PM EST
Oly, with the newer cars (both Caprices and Crown Vics) the MDT screens had to be placed lower, due to the passenger side airbags. This did in fact result in increased accidents and near-accidents...operators having to look lower to see what they were typing. Now, the incoming [b]MDC's[/b] have the touch screens back up to the higher position.
Link Posted: 12/10/2001 12:10:33 AM EST
Originally Posted By OneRobertFour: Oly, with the newer cars (both Caprices and Crown Vics) the MDT screens had to be placed lower, due to the passenger side airbags. This did in fact result in increased accidents and near-accidents...operators having to look lower to see what they were typing. Now, the incoming [b]MDC's[/b] have the touch screens back up to the higher position.
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Yes we have some newer Crown Vics and some new Impalas that have the touch screens as well.
Link Posted: 12/10/2001 4:00:43 PM EST
We have had MDT's for about 5 or 6 years now. We use the SMARTCOP CAD system. Dispatch can only backdoor a call on me as shift sergeant if I am not paying attention. All calls come up on the screen as they are being entered in the CAD. You'll see a family dispute come up as the complaint taker is getting the information in dispatch. Many times I can advise my units what is up, and have them headed that way. We can set it up so that only districts we are directly concerned with, or adjoining, are displayed. The system is in use by the two adjoining counties, as well as the local PD's and some FHP. When it is finally fully functional, I can run local warrant checks from 3 counties myself. Master name index, the same. Also photo files and DL photo files. It's kinda like cell phones and working narcotics, how did we ever do it without it?
Link Posted: 12/10/2001 6:15:43 PM EST
We use the following terminology for our car computers/terminals: the MDT is a mobile data terminal. Basically a dumb terminal with a small monochrome (amber) screen. The MCT is a laptop on a docking station. We use Motorola TxMessenger software running on the NT operating system for the MCT. Some of our cars have the older MDT system, some are using the MCT's, and some have no computer/terminal. The MCT is a vast improvement over the MDT, especially with the touch screen. I don't really think that the MDT/MCT's help dispatchers to sluff off. Whenever an officer is voice dispatched a call, the same information is automatically sent to his MDT/MCT. It would be a dangerous practice to only dispatch call by MDT/MCT. Of course officers can always call up the Unit Status function to check on any other car working. If dispatchers don't stay on top of the situation, status buttons can also become an officer safety problem. Mike
Link Posted: 12/11/2001 9:36:18 AM EST
Our MDT's are actually laptops with and MDT program. We type everything, get email, use map programs, etc. All of our calls are sent over the air, followed my the MDT. The only ones that aren't are cold paper calls sent during a Code1 (radio silence requested) I acknowledge everything on the air. Being in traffic, I pay more attention to the patrol officer now, I case I have to go cover them in a hurry, I know where they are mentally.
Link Posted: 12/13/2001 5:13:25 PM EST
We live by our MDT's. As for knowing what everyone else is doing, we punch surrounding beats in when we log on and are automatically advised of any call or traffic stop they are involved in. We are currently having problems because they upgraded from a DOS based program to a Windows based program. They tried to load Windows 98 into hardware built in 1991 or thereabouts. Needless to say, the system crashed and is not yet fully functional again. GPS is still completely out.
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