dispatcher is the vital link between the citizen customer and the
Jersey Village emergency services. Whether the call is about
something as mundane as a barking dog or as serious as a medical
emergency, the dispatcher must handle it. Once thought of as just
someone to answer the phone, dispatchers today are an integral part
of the total Jersey Village emergency services team. Every day,
these services rely on our dispatchers to obtain the crucial
information that they need when responding to a call. One of our
dispatchers said it best . . . “we keep Jersey Village safe – one
call at a time.”
To support the Jersey Village emergency services team in the
preservation of life, and protection of property, through effective
communication, and aid the community by processing their requests,
emergency or non-emergency, as quickly and as professionally as
The Jersey Village Communications center is a combination of man and
machine joined together to form a strong, talented, well-trained
technical center. The following is a brief description of the
components that make this center one of the best.
The 911 Emergency Services Contact System
There are three ways that a call can come in to the dispatch center
via the 911 system. Those three ways are conventional telephone,
wireless (cellular), and transfer from another agency. Each has
different problems they pose for the dispatcher.
• The conventional caller, while usually calling from within the
city limits, is not always calling to report a problem within the
city and therefore must be transferred to the appropriate agency.
• The wireless caller is not always in the city limits and often
times does not know the area from which they are calling, so it is
imperative that the dispatcher be familiar, not only with the city
limits, but the areas surrounding them as well.
• The transfer caller is someone who is either calling from outside
the city on a conventional phone and has information regarding a
problem inside the city or is a cellular caller who is trying to
report a problem they saw that had occurred in the city limits.
All three are answered on the same 911 system and if need be, can be
transferred to other agencies via the 911 system. The 911 system
itself is windows-based with software that enables it to retrieve a
caller’s address, telephone number, and plot their location on a map
when calling from a conventional phone. When calling from a cell
phone, the system will currently display the location of the cell
tower site on a map, and for all but a few cellular companies,
display the telephone number of the caller. For obvious reasons, an
address cannot be displayed, but future technical advancements
mandated by the FCC, call for 911 providers and cellular companies
to develop equipment that will be able to locate a cellular caller
within 50 meters of their location within this next year and provide
the phone number from which the call is being placed. All of the
computers and associated equipment that is used for the 911 system
is provided to the city by the Greater Harris County 911 District
and is paid for by everyone who has a telephone via a fee assessed
on the phone bill. As nice and as advanced as this equipment is, it
would not be worth very much if there was not a place to store it.
In Jersey Village, the 911 system s housed in the communication
center located within the police services building.
Jersey Village the communications center handles the entire incoming
emergency and non-emergency calls for the police department in
addition to the emergency calls for the fire department. The
communications center is now six years old and slated to undergo
upgrades to help keep pace with the ever-changing times.
Among the changes are upgrades to the radios, radio consoles,
recorders, and the furniture that houses all of it. The upgrades are
not restricted to equipment but are projected to expand the number
of dispatchers to maintain a staff that can accommodate the call for
service volume sufficiently and not have a drop in the service that
is provided to the residents.
Another projected upgrade affects both the communications center
along with the officers on the street are the mobile data terminals
(MDT). The MDT allows the officer to check information from his/her
vehicle without having to tie up the radio with unnecessary radio
conversation. Should the officer come across something/someone that
is either stolen or wanted they will still notify the dispatcher who
can send the necessary messages to confirm the stolen or wanted
status whichever may be needed, as well as make all other necessary
inquiries for the officers. The dispatchers that staff the
communications center come from all walks of life and have different
things to offer the city.
The communications section is currently made up of seven (7) full
time and one (1) part time dispatchers. All of the dispatchers are
either TCLEOSE certified telecommunicators or are in the process of
doing so. As a center that dispatches for both police and fire it is
necessary that the dispatchers undergo training in both fields of
dispatching. Courses that the dispatchers take include a mandatory
40-hour training class on the operation, rules and regulations
regarding the TLETS System (Texas law enforcement telecommunications
system), system on which driver’s licenses and license plates are
checked, emergency medical dispatching, and emergency fire
dispatching are just some of the courses in which the dispatchers
The dispatchers are also exposed to on-going one-day seminars, which
are sponsored by the Greater Harris County 911 District who brings
in outside speakers. Some of the classes that are offered include
dealing with difficult callers, effective communications, and
liability issues for dispatchers, and stress management. In addition
to training classes all of the dispatchers are members of APCO
(Association of Public Safety Communications Operators), which
allows them to read and stay abreast of changes that are taking
place in the communications field and have input into changes that
they think may be beneficial to the operations of the communications
center. Training and reading can only take an individual so far, and
then it comes down to an ability to take what you have learned and
put it into actions when called upon to act.
The dispatcher must be able to handle multiple projects at one time.
In our PD the dispatcher must be able to use a personal computer,
answer the radio, answer the business telephones, answer the 911
phones, monitor prisoners when needed, and be able to remember what
policies and procedures they must follow that apply to each of these
NATIOINAL CRIME INFORMATION NETWORKS
One of the most important tools that the dispatcher uses is the
TLETS system. This system is connected to the Texas Crime
Information Center (TCIC) and the National Crime Information Center
(NCIC) systems, which allow the dispatchers to access information
from not only Texas, but anywhere around the country as well as
Canada and Mexico.
In addition to using the system to check for stolen and wanted
persons or items, the system is also utilized to enter them.
If, for instance, a car is stolen in Jersey Village, an officer will
take a stolen vehicle report and get the information about the car.
The officer will then pass the information on to the dispatcher who
will enter the car stolen.
After a car is entered stolen into the system, any law enforcement
agency that comes into contact with it can check it in the computer
system and a message will be displayed alerting them that the car
has been reported stolen by the Jersey Village Police Department.
The system does not check just for individuals that are wanted for
something of a criminal nature, it is also the system that is used
to enter and locate missing persons. The supervisor over
communications is charged with making sure that all records entered
into the computer are accounted for and does so with a monthly
validation, which is sent to the Department of Public Safety. The
Department of Public Safety is the agency for Texas that oversees
all aspects of the TLETS system, and should any of the dispatchers
have a question or a problem with the system, they are trained to
help resolve the problem/question.
its very name, it defines what goes on in the dispatch center. The
dispatcher is in most cases, the first point of contact for the
citizen, and in some cases they are also the last. The dispatchers
are well trained and have in the past, been instrumental in helping
stop crimes in progress.
The City of Jersey Village is surrounded by other agencies and
communications between the agencies is vital. The Jersey Village
dispatch has been able to provide back up to a neighboring agency
when that agencies dispatch center experienced a temporary power
loss. The dispatcher was able to handle the incoming 911 calls for
this agency and relay them to their units on the street for response
by their department. The dispatchers strive to be the most
professional dispatchers that they can be and represent the City of
Jersey Village in this manner at all times.