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Mesquite Police Dispatch Center Educates on Call Taking Process

posted May 17, 2016, 3:51 PM by Quinn Averett   [ updated May 19, 2016, 5:23 PM by Tyson Kennedy ]

The Mesquite Police Department Dispatch Center would like to take some time to discuss the call taking process that will be apparent when the public calls the Dispatch Center to request Police or Medical/Fire service.


Whenever you call the Dispatch Center on the non-emergency or emergency lines, you should be prepared to answer questions that will help the dispatcher determine the nature of your request.  Dispatch Supervisor Lori Todd stated, “The dispatcher will need to ask several questions of you based on the nature of the request, following protocols that have been in place for over a decade.”

You will be asked the following questions by the dispatcher:

1.      On 911 calls: “What is the address of your emergency?” or Non-Emergency calls: “What is the address where you need assistance?”

2.      “What is the phone number you are calling from?”

3.      “What is your name?” (at this point you only need to provide us with your first name)

4.      “Okay, tell me exactly what happened?’ 


When the dispatcher asks, "Okay tell me exactly what happened?" please provide them with a brief description of what is needed.  This will allow the dispatcher to determine whether medical/fire or police services are needed and what types of questions to ask based on your response.  You will then be asked further questions based on the nature of your brief description to determine the proper response (how many ambulances, officers or fire vehicles are needed).  Once the dispatcher can determine what response is needed, they will then dispatch out police or medical/fire units to the location of the emergency. 


The dispatcher may then continue to ask further questions of you, and continue to relay the answers to the responding officer or medical/fire units; or, the dispatcher will then proceed to provide you with a series of instructions you need to follow before police or medical/fire units arrive on scene.  These instructions will range from simple requests like gathering medication & putting away any pets, to safety & lifesaving instructions like how to control bleeding, how to perform CPR or how to shelter in place during a home invasion.  “All of the Mesquite Police Department Dispatchers are trained and certified to ask you the appropriate questions and provide you with the appropriate instructions,” stated Lead Dispatcher and Trainer Michael Bennett.


Over the last year the Dispatch Center has look at the overall trend of call taking compared to the year before.  “To the caller this process may seem like it is taking longer to dispatch either police or medical; however, we have found that it does not.  Rather, it provides a better level of service to the public,” said Todd.