Computer Program Helps CA Dispatchers Ask Good Questions


Law enforcement dispatchers in San Mateo County, Calif., have a new tool at their disposal — a computer program that offers a step-by-step sequence of questions developed for several dozen of the most common calls, reports the San Jose Mercury News. A similar program is already used by dispatchers handling medical calls. In July, dispatchers were trained to use “Emergency Police Protocol,” a computer program designed to help them better respond to law enforcement-related calls. The county paid $125,000 to integrate the program, developed by the nonprofit National Academies of Emergency Dispatch, into the county’s emergency communication system.

Elise Moeck, the county’s law enforcement program manager, said the computer program improves the consistency of information-gathering. “It was all based on their level of experience, knowledge and intuition,” she said. Protocol “limits your ability to forget something,” Moeck said.

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