A dispatcher plays a vital role within the police department. You will be communicating with officers via the radio to coordinate and dispatch units to different incidents you receive. It can be challenging at times but also very rewarding. Dispatchers are tasked with handling radio communications, taking 911 calls and operating CCTV cameras. In addition to communicating with officers, you will also handle EMS and the fire department. You will be required to have a clear and working microphone as a dispatcher.
Before you can become a dispatcher, you must be at least an officer within the police department. Once you have become an officer, head over to plpd.online and access the careers section on the left-hand side. Following this, you will need to look for a tile on this page called 'Dispatcher'. Press the apply button and complete your application. You will be required to complete some questions and pass but don’t worry, you can find out useful information about the dispatcher role in the dispatcher handbook. This can be accessed by clicking HERE.
Once you’re successful in your application, you may now join the job in game. Head to the Police Department and interact with the NPC at the desk. Press ‘Yes. I've always wanted to pursue a life in the Police Department‘ then ‘I would like to continue with my duties as police dispatcher’. If you can’t join the job but you’ve passed, you may need to synchronise your account with plpd.online. Just press the ‘Can you make sure my paperwork is updated first’ button and this should fix your problem. Congratulations, you should now be on duty as a dispatcher.
Now that you’ve joined a dispatcher, you will need to make your way to the dispatcher office. The way of accessing this can vary depending on the map. On Paralake City V4, you need to head down the staircase towards the jail cells and you will see a door called ‘Dispatcher Office’. On older versions of the map, you will need to interact with the NPC that offers bandages and road traffic equipment. There should be an option to teleport to the dispatcher area. If none of these options work, just ask in the government radio and someone will likely be able to help you.
If there are multiple dispatchers on duty, it’s a good idea to assign roles to each dispatcher. The breakdown of the roles are as followed:
Once you’ve gone into the dispatcher office, sit down at any of the computers. This will bring up the dispatcher control screen. Here you have access to a variety of tools to help you assist with police officers. These include radio chat, incidents, CCTV cameras, an interactive map, an overview and unit management.
The radio chat on the left-hand side of the HUD will display all of the text-based radio that comes through. This can be useful when someone needs to contact you but it’s not important. It keeps the voice radio clear so that more important messages can be radioed over. The text based radio should only be used for communications that aren’t a priority. Most of your communications will be done via voice chat.
Incidents are a great way to manage all 911 calls, panics and officer-created incidents in-game. When an incident comes in, it will appear in the top-left hand corner in a red colour. This means that it’s unassigned and needs to be handled. Each incident will include who it was created by (such as a 911 text report or an officer panic), the phone number, the time the incident was created, the message, location, status and incident number. Now that an incident has come through, you will need to assign it to a unit so they can respond. You can do this by clicking on a player on the right-hand side of the screen and then pressing the ‘assign to selected’ button. This will put the unit you selected onto that incident. You can assign as many units as you like to an incident as some incidents will require a greater response.
You can access the CCTV cameras two ways. You can either press the ‘CCTV Cameras’ button in the bottom left-hand corner or zoom into the map and click on the circle on the camera you wish to select. Now that you’re on the CCTV cameras, you have a HUD in the bottom-right hand corner. This allows you to select a general location and then a specific area you wish to view. The cameras are live so you can see what is happening at any time around the map. However, cameras don’t cover the entire map so you will need to be smart about how you use them. You can also press the ‘Save Frame’ button to capture that moment, which you may want to go back to later.
The map in the centre of the screen will help you to manage officers, medics, firefighters and incidents. You can see a live location where everyone is (updates about every 3 seconds) on the map and different jobs will be represented with different colours. A key is visible in the top-right hand corner of the control screen. You can right click anywhere on the map to create an incident. This is useful if your 911 call handler receives a 911 call and you need to dispatch someone to them. You can also click on units which will make them selected on the right-hand side. You can then unassign/assign them to an incident. As previously mentioned, CCTV cameras can also be clicked on via this map if you zoom in.
On the right-hand side of the screen you will be able to see categories that are called Police Officer, Medic and Firefighter. If you click on one of these categories, it will reveal everyone in that category. You can then click on an employee which will bring up information such as unit assignment. You can assign units by pressing the ‘Units’ tab. When you come on, it’s likely most employees will be in no unit unless they assigned themselves prior to you coming on as a dispatcher. Click the ‘No Unit’ button to reveal everyone not in a unit. You can then click on any person then assign them a unit, patrol area, locate them or toggle them as busy. To know which units to assign different officers to, follow this structure:
It’s best to try and get around 2 officers in every unit but with medics and firefighters, there are only ever going to be a maximum of 4 so it’s best to split them up into at least 2 units so the resources can be spread across the entire map.
It can be rather difficult to speak to any other dispatchers when trying to speak with others over the radio. Thankfully, there is a channel on the TeamSpeak server called ‘Dispatchers: Control Room’. This channel permits any on-duty dispatchers to talk with each other. Ensure that you are only communicating in this voice channel as a dispatcher or you may be breaking server rule 3.2 third party communication applications.
Whenever you communicate over the radio, you must do so in a calm and professional manner at all times. This is so communications are clear and information can be given to all government employees. Additionally, you and every unit is expected to adhere to radio protocol when there is a dispatcher on duty. For example, if a unit makes contact with you via the voice radio, it would be something like this:
In life-threatening situations or situations where radio protocol would slow down the movement of information between units (such as a large police chase for example), then you may authorise for radio protocol to be temporarily disregarded but you should restore radio protocol at the earliest and most appropriate opportunity.
This is not a problem! You are here to learn and there is nothing wrong in needing a bit more help. There are a large array of resources available to you to help you become a great dispatcher. My best advice would be to read the handbook, speak to another dispatcher or create a helpdesk ticket towards the Dispatch division.
Created On: May 11, 2020, 8:48 p.m.
Created By: Hayden