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Greater Los Angeles & Inland Areas Discussion Local area specific discussion for Los Angeles and its outlying areas such as Ventura and Orange Counties, and the Inland Empire area.

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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 01-30-2014, 10:41 PM
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Wink Clarification

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Originally Posted by inigo88 View Post
LASD decided a very long time ago that it would confuse their deputies too much if they could hear each other. Therefore on the dispatch channel, all the deputy ever hears is their dispatcher and the "beep beep" busy tone when another unit is talking on the input frequency. They have had repeater capability for a long time (called "the patch") and occasionally turn it on during hot calls to allow deputies to relay BOL info to other units in the field directly. They then quickly turn it back off. Since there is a legitimate need for the sergeants to direct units in the field, you will hear cHar-to-car traffic on the corresponding L-TAC frequencies for each area.

The busy tones also allow their dispatch center to dynamically rotate radio usage between different dispatchers based on call volume. In other words, you may hear one dispatcher on the channel one minute, and then the channel will get automatically moved to another dispatcher with a lower workload and you will hear a new voice. In a way it's almost like trunking on the dispatcher end... It allows them to have fewer dispatchers work a larger area, but virtually every other department I'm familiar with follows the traditional solution of simply hiring more dispatchers. In my humble opinion, it seems like an overly complicated solution to a simple problem.

The busy tones are one of those strange cultural department traditions I will never understand. I've heard plenty of other reasons for why they exist from those in the department (many even posted in this forum and you can do a search and find them), but it just never makes logical sense to me... So I've given up trying.
Hi inigo,

This will help bring clarity...

1. The traffic that is important can be repeated clearly by the dispatcher in a calm fashion. Especially when the duputy is in foot pursuit. Its aamazing how there can be major havoc and the scc dispatcher will be calm responding on the radio, which actually calms the deputies as they are responding. Calm deputies equal great decisions during driving and at the crime location....

2. Crime broadcast by the deputy are usually " patched" by request of the deputy. For example " temple 52 adam and all monitoring agencies a GTA ( grand theft auto) just occured in the 1000 block of las tunas, possibly heading west bound by one occupant, no further description....52 adam clear you can drop the patch". Of course patched communication happen on hot calls too.

3. Officer/deputies get indidated with info. Overload, so hearing beeeps can give a little tranquility. When there is voice, you know itts important. Listening to people talk with lazyness and with background noice getsbvery annoying on a 8/10/12 hour shift. Kinda like listening to a dj on the same fm radio station all day.


Hope This helps...
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Old 01-30-2014, 10:56 PM
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Well I guess there is a method to all of the madness when it comes to the beep beep birdie.

This all makes sense and it was implemented 40 years ago. What a genius idea. I can see why this system is still solid and is still in full effect.

The question is how is this old system going to be implemented into a full-wide county trunked system?

It sounds like they will keep all of their existing conventional 480mhz frequencies and they have a lot of them and set them up into different trunking sites and trunk their system and keep the birdie chirping into yonder.
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Old 01-30-2014, 11:43 PM
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Heaven forbid you let your Deputies do their job! Part of being a professional emergency responder is being able to communicate in a calm demeanor regardless of the situation (not to be confused with being winded from a foot pursuit or similar) and to sort the critical radio traffic from the less-critical. I still think the beeps are mostly a cultural thing, otherwise LASD wouldn't be the only agency in Southern California (and maybe the world) that does this.

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Old 01-31-2014, 12:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottyhetzel View Post
Hi inigo,

This will help bring clarity...

1. The traffic that is important can be repeated clearly by the dispatcher in a calm fashion. Especially when the duputy is in foot pursuit. Its aamazing how there can be major havoc and the scc dispatcher will be calm responding on the radio, which actually calms the deputies as they are responding. Calm deputies equal great decisions during driving and at the crime location....

2. Crime broadcast by the deputy are usually " patched" by request of the deputy. For example " temple 52 adam and all monitoring agencies a GTA ( grand theft auto) just occured in the 1000 block of las tunas, possibly heading west bound by one occupant, no further description....52 adam clear you can drop the patch". Of course patched communication happen on hot calls too.

3. Officer/deputies get indidated with info. Overload, so hearing beeeps can give a little tranquility. When there is voice, you know itts important. Listening to people talk with lazyness and with background noice getsbvery annoying on a 8/10/12 hour shift. Kinda like listening to a dj on the same fm radio station all day.


Hope This helps...
Sorry Scotty but that brought no clarity. There are just too many similarly sized departments I'm familiar with that don't need to use busy tones. I think the tones are a 40 year old solution which have withstood the test of time due to strong department culture. All the reasons you give have never been an issue for any of my friends at large metropolitan departments, where they can hear their fellow officers getting in foot pursuits or "speaking with laziness" for 12 hour shifts.

I'd be curious to hear some hard numbers as to how many patrol deputies are logged on per dispatch channel. The wiki page for LASD has a list of beats for each station:
Los Angeles County (CA) Sheriffs Department - The RadioReference Wiki

Split that up between 15 dispatch channels and it seems like a reasonable amount of deputies per channel. I think the issue arises when SCC staffs less than 15 dispatchers using their automatic channel rotation system, because deputies would constantly be hearing units from outside their normal areas as the dispatchers cycled through. (Use the search feature of this forum for more on that.)

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I still think the beeps are mostly a cultural thing, otherwise LASD wouldn't be the only agency in Southern California (and maybe the world) that does this.
My thoughts exactly Mark.
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Old 01-31-2014, 10:43 AM
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Its just a matter of opinion. Just because you can... does not mean you should. If the department thought it was just "cultural thing" they probably would have changed it. I can tell you the same radio techs are not there on Eastern ave from the 70's,80's.. There has been a few Sheriffs' in office since the late 70's too, that could have changed the radio format but did not.
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 01-31-2014, 12:36 PM
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I personally hate the busy tone. Half the time the dispatcher doesn't repeat the exact thing the deputy says. For instance, a deputy can be involved in a fight and maybe only have time to give a landmark as a location. Everyone at the station knows the landmark and can easily respond to the fight. However you have SRC sitting on a hill anywhere from 1-80 miles away who has no idea what you are talking about. Their natural instinct is to repeat you're in a fight and then ask you for a better location. Thus causing a great delay in your partners getting to you.

Also unk if do to the links or just not paying attention, I have heard many of times a deputy come on with emergency traffic and SRC tell them to repeat because they didn't hear what the deputy said. the station dispatcher or sergeant who hears all the radio traffic quickly hotlines them and tells them what the deputy said to get them help.

There are many time when SRC forgets to drop the duplex patch which I love because you can actually hear what's going on. By habit and not knowing any different way, a deputy will tell them they forgot to drop the patch.

I know in the past they have experimented with leaving two stations on the patch which they say went bad because deputies got confused. I find it hard to believe they get confused as you start off with a call sign which automatically tells you what station is talking.

I believe the staffing level is the big issue. There was emergency traffic just last week and SRC said they couldn't drop the other stations on the frequency because there were two pursuits going on also. So the deputies had to share a freq with four other stations who were also putting out code 3 responses all while trying to communicate their emergency in between. That in it self is BS..

Just my two cents and experience.
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Old 02-01-2014, 1:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Code20Photog View Post
To hear the mobiles, you're going to have to be RIGHT on top of them. Even from El Segundo, you probably will only hear the closest of the Lennox units. (And yes, I still call it Lennox.)

You won't be able to get the scanner to ignore the beeping, if there was a scanner that could, I'd buy it. I have to listen to LASD for work, and at least I tend to not even scan them they're so annoying to listen to.

And I don't know why, but LASD Dispatchers talk faster than any other agency I know of.
They talk faster than the late Chick Hern did and that is saying a lot! There is a talk speed limit that, if exceeded, humans can no longer comprehend. Most of us talk far slower than that limit, which causes the brain to wander. We end up not hearing portions of conversations for this reason. LASD dispatchers come pretty close to our upper limit.
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:04 PM
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Thanks everyone for all the detailed replies.

I found listening to this system VERY frustrating. While it always came in clear as a bell, it was annoying to have to CONSTANTLY hit the scan button after the dispatcher was done talking so I could get on to another channel while the beeps were going on and on and on and on......

I think I'm just going to delete this system from my scanner.
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Old 02-06-2014, 5:53 PM
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Understand SCC never has all dispatch channels covered with their own PSD/RTO. Each person on duty will have multiple dispatch channels and they constantly rotate. Yes the system is unique, not just the busy tone but the entire dispatch model.

Also if you had say Altadena (70), Lomita (170), and Marina (270) all on the same console and field units heard "73 I'm in a fight Slauson and Crenshaw" most Marina units would recognize from the location given that the unit 273 cut off his call sign but know to respond, meanwhile Lomita and Altadena units would have their blood pressure skyrocketing not knowing that it wasn't one of their units. The PSD can cut that out because 1. They would have seen on their console that unit 273 just broadcast that message, not 73. 2. Most of them have a decent working knowledge of the patrol areas and would recognize that area as being in the south west county area between Marina and South L.A.

Yes from a hobby stand point it can be frustrating, but the system wasn't designed for fun, it was designed to be the most effective, cost efficient, and reliable system to cover one of the largest patrol forces in the nation, that also provides each station with local command and centralized communications and logistics support. Remember not only does LASD provide a patrol force for the unincorporated areas of L.A. County (in and of itself larger than some states in population and size) it is also "the Police Department" for 44 independent cities, county hospitals, county parks, and the L.A. City Community College District as well as being the second largest transit police force in the country.
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Old 02-06-2014, 10:10 PM
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Well said Jrholm...people dont get it.
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Old 02-06-2014, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by scottyhetzel View Post
Well said Jrholm...people dont get it.

What is that supposed to mean.....??? I understand perfectly well that the system wasn't designed for us hobbyists. With that said, I see no harm in voicing frustration in trying to monitor it.
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Old 02-06-2014, 10:26 PM
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One question: Do the beeps only last as long as a mobile unit is talking to the dispatcher?
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  #33 (permalink)  
Old 02-06-2014, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by LIScanner101 View Post
What is that supposed to mean.....??? I understand perfectly well that the system wasn't designed for us hobbyists. With that said, I see no harm in voicing frustration in trying to monitor it.
The OP question was why the beeps ? Not about if you liked it or not. I listened to it for twenty years, and i was not frustrated. With that being said....
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Old 02-06-2014, 10:30 PM
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One question: Do the beeps only last as long as a mobile unit is talking to the dispatcher?
Yes
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Old 02-07-2014, 1:49 AM
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My 25 years with the U.S. Forest Service, nearly 11 years on the Mammoth Ranger District of the Inyo National Forest allows me to offer an observation in regard to using radio systems. I mention the Mammoth District and the Inyo NF as Mammoth has a little more than half the developed recreation site use on the forest. Developed sites include campgrounds, picnic areas, interpretive sites, vistas, nature trails and similar. Mammoth's share of this use as the Inyo NF has more than twice the developed recreation. Doing the math results in Mammoth having more of this use than the number 2 National Forest. Add the required shuttle bus (one of only two in the country on federal land at the time I was working there) and the most ligated recreation site outside of southern California in the Forest Service's Pacific Southwest Region. It was my pleasure to be the field supervisor of this operation. When I first arrived at Mammoth I had 40 people to supervise, which consisted of two permanent employees, many seasonals, campground hosts and other volunteers. The White Mountain Ranger District to our south managed the White Mtn. range and three major eastern Sierra canyons, The amount of traffic from recreation units was as high as I've heard in 45 years of scanning. Most of us had our radios in the scan mode and listened to the Mono County S.O., Mammoth P.D., DFG (prior to name change), as well as fire, EMS and road departments.

On the Inyo, just like any forest with a repeater system that did not employ microwave linked remote base stations we heard both sides of all conversations. I did not closely listen to much of the traffic during the day, both in the office and in the field. It was impossible to do that while performing your own duties. I had a high level of public contact making listening to everything impossible. If I wasn't able to hear the mobile unit, which happens when remote base stations are used and you are not in range to hear the mobile unit, it would have been a considerable disadvantage. The reason for this is that dispatchers train and practice having a near monotone at all times, no matter the circumstances. People in the field for the most part change the tone, timing and volume of their speaking when faced with an difficult incident Background noise is important also. The sound of belligerent is very distinct and my brain shifts my focus when I hear it. My brain was practiced on hearing the type of incidents my employees were dealing with, but if I was talking with a visitor I tuned out most of it. If their speaking pattern changed I excused myself from a conversation with the visitor, often times moving toward my truck to respond. Without the ability to listen to the mobile unit I would not be able to detect the nature of an incident that I needed to respond to or to direct my two permanent employees to.

The beeping on the LASD radio system is annoying. In my opinion I'm better able to tune out the routine traffic and be able to keep track of the radio for significant incidents while speaking to visitors at the same time. In the working environment of the LASD I would tune out the 10-28's and 288's and focus when something like 211 or 245 was broadcast.

Most long term scanner listeners do the same. We refocus from what they are doing while the scanner is on and use speech patterns and codes to do so. It is tough to do so if we don't can't hear the mobile units.

This is just an observation and opinion based on my own unique experience, and I don't want anyone inferring that I'm trying to be an armchair quarterback. As the posters on my wife's ski forum say: "your mileage may vary."
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Old 02-07-2014, 6:26 AM
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Varying mileage is very appropriate Ex-Smokey. You trained your ear to hear certain things through endless chatter. LASD deputies have done the same thing, they are tuned to hearing certain things through a very busy radio system, such as "Attention Norwalk units" this keys us to something important like a code 3 response. 10-33 is another key word as well as "You're on the patch" or for that matter anytime the patch is activated. Not hearing the other deputies conversation with SCC in routine duties is not a hinderance to a deputies daily activities, especially when that conversation could be with a deputy 100 miles away from me. In addition most field units while in the car are actually monitoring two different radio channels, the dispatch channel and the station's L-tac (car to car/car to station) channel.
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Old 02-07-2014, 8:55 PM
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Originally Posted by jrholm View Post
Varying mileage is very appropriate Ex-Smokey. You trained your ear to hear certain things through endless chatter. LASD deputies have done the same thing, they are tuned to hearing certain things through a very busy radio system, such as "Attention Norwalk units" this keys us to something important like a code 3 response. 10-33 is another key word as well as "You're on the patch" or for that matter anytime the patch is activated. Not hearing the other deputies conversation with SCC in routine duties is not a hinderance to a deputies daily activities, especially when that conversation could be with a deputy 100 miles away from me. In addition most field units while in the car are actually monitoring two different radio channels, the dispatch channel and the station's L-tac (car to car/car to station) channel.
You mean mobile car radio on dispatch , handheld on L-tac ?
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Old 02-07-2014, 8:57 PM
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Default What;s with the BEEP...BEEP..BEEP on Sheriff?

No portable on disp and mobile on ltac. Although some have the portable scan both also. I usually scan both on my portable
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Old 02-11-2014, 3:03 AM
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The busy tone enabled dispatchers to dispatch and monitor frequencies at one console by minimizing multiple transmissions on multiple frequencies being received at one time. The tone alerted uniits that another unit was already transmitting radio traffic and to wait til it was clear.

Also...

Prior to the current UHF system LASD was on 39mhz and at that time repeated transmissions were only allowed on VHF-Low bad in an emergency situation. CHP on 42mhz was bound by the same rules at the time.

The one frequency, one dispatcher way of allocating dispatchers would not be efficient here as LASD has created stations not equalize workload by drawing a border through the middle of town down a given street, but by creating stations to serve certain geographical areas with differing populations and number of units deployed.

Thus a dispatcher for example assigned to Lomita/Avalon would not work nearly as much as the Lakewood dispatcher. So allowing for frequencied rotating to the least worked operator equals out the workload in theory.
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Old 02-11-2014, 3:06 AM
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Originally Posted by jrholm View Post
Varying mileage is very appropriate Ex-Smokey. You trained your ear to hear certain things through endless chatter. LASD deputies have done the same thing, they are tuned to hearing certain things through a very busy radio system, such as "Attention Norwalk units" this keys us to something important like a code 3 response. 10-33 is another key word as well as "You're on the patch" or for that matter anytime the patch is activated. Not hearing the other deputies conversation with SCC in routine duties is not a hinderance to a deputies daily activities, especially when that conversation could be with a deputy 100 miles away from me. In addition most field units while in the car are actually monitoring two different radio channels, the dispatch channel and the station's L-tac (car to car/car to station) channel.
When I was at SCC I always prefaced every transmission (as per policy) with the station name of the unit or call concerned enabling units to quickly ascertain if the transmission was relevant to them.
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