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Technical Services

The technical services division administers both the temporary holding facility and public safety dispatch sections. Often less glorified, but no less important than the higher profile divisions, technical services keeps the department running. After all, how would patrol officers find people in need of help without a person in place to receive the call and relay it to the officers? Where would the officer take a prisoner if there was no temporary holding facility? Mesquite Police Department Public Safety Dispatchers and Detention Officers need only be 18 years of age to apply. Public Safety Dispatchers work four ten-hour shifts per work week and Detention Officers work five eight-hour shifts per week.

 

 

Communications

On the surface, it might appear that being a public safety dispatcher is incredibly simple. How hard can it be to sit at a computer terminal and answer phones all day? This line of thought could not be further from the truth. Dispatch is comprised of five stations.

Channel one
Channel two (optional)
Fire dispatch
NCIC
Call taker

The channel one operator is the one in direct contact with the officers. He or she relays information received from the call takers to the officers. During peak times of day, channel two is activated and the city is divided into two zones. Channels one and two each cover their designated zones.

Fire dispatch is somewhat self-explanatory. The fire operator communicates with the Mesquite Fire Department.

NCIC is the channel reserved for checking the wanted status and criminal history of subjects that officers come into contact with. The NCIC operator also helps officers run license plates to check for related wanted persons information or stolen vehicle status.

The call taker position is perhaps, at times, the most demanding of all positions in dispatch. At this station, the operator finds him or herself in direct contact with the citizens who themselves are often in a stressful situation. The operator must find a way to calm the caller down enough to extract key information from them in order to keep officers informed. The operator must be cognizant of the situation to obtain applicable safety information for the officers enroute or on scene. Occasionally the operator must find a way to control high pressure situations using nothing but their voice on a telephone attempting to hold things together until officers arrive. For example, the call taker may have to give verbal instructions to a frantic mother on how to administer CPR to an infant or calm a suicidal subject. A call taker can literally be the difference between life and death in some instances.

Temporary Holding Facility

This is where many of our work. Simply stated, duties of a are to process prisoners brought in by police officers. Of course, the job in reality is not as simple as that might sound. There are many nuances and intricacies that, through experience and training, must be mastered to effectively fulfill this duty. Often you are dealing directly with some of the worst individuals in our community that are generally not in the best of moods, having just been arrested. The detention officer's responsibility is to search the prisoner, catalog his/her property, obtain the prisoner's fingerprints, photograph the prisoner, and maintain order. Factor in the unpredictability of intoxicated persons through both drugs and alcohol and you have got yourself a challenge. Detention officers also monitor the front desk and help maintain the property room.