Orange County 911 moves into new center in Goshen..

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APX8000

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Well, it's official. Orange County 911 moved into it's new facility from Chester to Goshen. All I can say is nothing but continued problems. Bad buzzing on low-band fire, high band fire, 718, police MRD, etc., etc. They have pager tones going off one channel and then voice going off a different channel. You would have thought they would have tested everything before going live. The dispatchers are getting pissy on the radio too. Everytime they transmit to a different user in the field they are getting complaints. I think I heard the fire dispather say "We are aware of the problem, NYCOMCO is working on it" about 20 times in one hour.
 

bezking

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Nice. :roll: We can probably expect more of the same if\when SWN ever goes live... *sigh*
 

sc8

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Nice.

How are they doing with handiling Sheriff's Office traffic? Are they keeping up?
 

APX8000

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The Sheriff's office isn't really that busy since they don't handle calls for service, just civil and traffic stops. They are still calling out civil to 339 and T/S to Central. Every so often they will answer a poll, but not many.

sc8...I did confirm that Monroe PD will NOT be switching to Central. Apparently the village mayor was looking at cutting costs. Central agreed with the mayor to monitor Monroe's activity, so they put their (Monroe's) frequency in the scanner at the 911 center. When Monroe found out, they encryped all their radio traffic for like a week so Central couldn't hear anything, apparently by orders of the Chief himself. Mayor has since backed down.
 

sc8

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Okay.

Someone at the SO told me that 339 was "going away" after Central opened. I guess he was wrong?

Thanks for the info about Monroe. I can see why they would not want to go with the 911 center, and vis versa.
 
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DaveNF2G

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Sounds like the Monroe PD chief is one of those local tin gods we can do without.
 

SCANdal

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While the potential is there for OCECD to be a great service, somethings just...

Dave,

I beg to differ somewhat.

While I may not quite agree with some of his tactics, Chief Giudice, in the end, is concerned about the safety of his troops. Central is simply not ready to accept the burden of an additional agency, especially one that generates the amount of radio traffic volume that Monroe PD does (tune in and judge for yourself, 155.760R, 103.5). I can see his being concerned with having his officers lost in the mix when two dispatchers are trying to handle - in the best case scenerio - dispatching for nine other departments*. I say "best case" because that number could go as high as 18** when some agencies close their dispatch centers and polling calls are factored in. Would you as a police chief want your officers competing for air time and the attention of one of those two dispatchers?

I can fully understand Mayor Karl's concerns relating to easing the burden on his taxpayers, but two additional things must be considered: (a) what impact will getting rid of the Monroe dispatch center have on the fire department (since MPD dispatchs MFD - pagers will need to be reprogrammed, etc., etc, etc.)? and (b) since agencies already serviced by the County have recently left (i.e.: Pine Island VAC) or are considering leaving (Montgomery Police) dispatch by the County, what does that say about the quality of the service offered by the County? Simply adding a radio tower in Highland Mills to better cover Monroe doesn't make for better dispatching services. If any agency (like Monroe Police) really wants to have Central dispatch for them, I'd suggest that they wait at least six months or more to see if the move to the new building changes anything for the better. I, for one, am not holding my breath.

SCANdal

* Departments handled by Central full time
Deerpark Town
Mount Hope Town
Goshen Town
Chester Village
Florida Village
Maybrook Village
Montgomery Village
Chester Town
Greenville Constables (rarely on duty)

** Departments handled by Central when their own dispatch centers close (all in addtion to the departments served above):
Montgomery Town
Goshen Village
Blooming Grove Town
Washingtonville Village
County Sheriff's
Note: Town departments are polled 24/7 regardless of the status of their dispatch centers.

Departments with their own dispatch centers, but are polled by Central anyway:
Wallkill Town
Warwick Town
Crawford Town
Cornwall Town
State Police (execpt Thruway / Troop T)

FYI: additonal departments that have their own 'round-the-clock dispatch centers (most of whom can also talk to Central as well *, but are not polled)
- Cornwall-on-Hudson (by Cornwall Police)*
- Middletown
- Highland Falls (also handles Highlands)
- Newburgh City*
- Newburgh Town*
- Walden*
- Woodbury (also handles Harriman)*
- Greenwood Lake
- Monroe Village
- New Windsor*
- Tuxedo*
- Tuxedo Park*
- Port Jervis City
- Park Police
- MTA Police
- USMA Military Police
- DEC EnCon Police*
 
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DaveNF2G

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Thank you for your input, SCANdal. Perhaps the Chief has a point, but I believe it to be based on faulty information and logic.

1) The whole "9-1-1 polling" system as described in other threads needs to be scrapped. I've heard them do it in Columbia, Rensselaer, and Saratoga counties as well and, IMO, it is a tremendous waste of time. The dispatchers should be able to status all of the police units and send the appropriate agency, period. If another officer wants to volunteer for a particular call (because without AVL, keeping track of the units is not an exact science), then the dispatchers should be able to adjust.

2) "18 departments" in that environment is unlikely to equate to more than a couple of dozen individual units. I have had as many as 60 cars on a primary channel without serious problems. Again, it depends on the skill of the dispatchers and the cooperation of the officers. It's not as if the two Monroe cars are going to be lost among hundreds or probably even dozens of other cars.

3) As has been observed in this and other threads, Orange County's dispatch organization has many deep-rooted problems. Nothing they do is going to be trusted by everybody, and probably for good reason. That does not change the economics of consolidation.
 

SCANdal

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Thank you for your input, SCANdal. Perhaps the Chief has a point, but I believe it to be based on faulty information and logic.
You're quite welcome.

1) The whole "9-1-1 polling" system as described in other threads needs to be scrapped. I've heard them do it in Columbia, Rensselaer, and Saratoga counties as well and, IMO, it is a tremendous waste of time. The dispatchers should be able to status all of the police units and send the appropriate agency, period. If another officer wants to volunteer for a particular call (because without AVL, keeping track of the units is not an exact science), then the dispatchers should be able to adjust.
Agreed, 100%

2) "18 departments" in that environment is unlikely to equate to more than a couple of dozen individual units. I have had as many as 60 cars on a primary channel without serious problems. Again, it depends on the skill of the dispatchers and the cooperation of the officers. It's not as if the two Monroe cars are going to be lost among hundreds or probably even dozens of other cars.
You're estimate of about 60 units - and that's on the high end - is about right, and that's split among four primary channels: Municipal radio Dispatch (MRD), Police 800/Beacon, Police 800/Graham, and all the versions of the Polling channel (which is a part of the problem). But, by your own admission, problems do arise when you stack that many units together. I didn't want to get into the dispatcher's skill level in my original post, but since you brought it up....when you rightly add into the mix the overall low level of skill of a good number of the dispacther(s) (read: too many weak ones forced on the police console due to "cross training") and too many uncooperative officers (calling out arrivals, updates, and finals without awaiting acknowledgments and racing through plate / license readouts - forcing requests for repeat transmissions), anyone doing any simple monitoring of Central's systems will hear that, esp. at peak times, it's heading toward a breakdown. I still stand by my claim. Adding Monroe Police to Central, without Central losing any other departments to compensate for the new work load, will not be a good thing for Monroe.

3) As has been observed in this and other threads, Orange County's dispatch organization has many deep-rooted problems. Nothing they do is going to be trusted by everybody, and probably for good reason. That does not change the economics of consolidation.
Spoken like a true Public Policy and Administation major... And that's why I love you Dave (and that's not in a gay way)!

SCANdal
 
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DaveNF2G

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I don't disagree that Monroe PD (or any other agency) would not experience a degradation in service because of joining Central if previously self-dispatched. However, such degradation is not necessary or inherent to consolidated dispatching. It is a local problem.

I also stand by my statement that, in terms of channel loading and officer safety alone, the risk is not as severe as claimed by the police chief.

I do take back my insulting labeling of that chief. My disagreement with his reasoning is not personal.
 

PJH

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Polling depends on how the area is setup.

A good instance is Sullivan. Most Troopers and Sheriff's will call into 911 with their general post assignment, but are not dispatched by 911.

Considering that everyone roams, its almost useless to poll the one or maybe two cars that might be in that area. The logic behind that is should someone else just happen to be close by (detective car, NYC DEP, NY DEC, NPS, etc) they can respond if available.

They also send calls over the air to villiage PD's "just in case" a troop or sheriff car happens to be around the corner, but not polled.

Most of the time it works very well.

The problem with polling comes down to who WANTS to go. A problem that has crept up, is that some agencies are answering the poll, while others will not, or wait and see where it is first. There have been many times that cars "magically" become available for hot calls 2 miles aways from where the 911 hangup was polled out from 2 minutes ago. Its all how you play the game.
 

sc8

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PJH, in Sullivan County do NPS, DEC, DEP really answer polls? In Orange County I have never heard any unit other than a local PD, County Sheriff, or State Trooper answer a poll. Occasionally you will hear DEC get an assignment from Central over Polling but that is rare, and I've never heard MTA, Forest Rangers, Park Police, CSX Railroad Police, or NPS over polling although I do believe they have it in their cars.

Also, I could never figure out why Dutchess/Sullivan polls 911 hangups. I thought polling was reserved for hot calls like Burg in Progress, MVA with Injuries, Assaults etc, any other call gets sent over the PSAP.
 

PJH

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NCY DEP and NYS DEC typically answers polls in Neversink.

NPS typically does not, but has along Rt97, but they only have a couple of guys...and they tend to limit themselves to river related calls. Even if they don't answer, they tend to show up to help until SD or State arrives at crashes, etc.

911 hangup polling is done for the "what if" factor. There has been enough emergencies based on hangups that the practice will continue. Of course its not a high priority call, but one that needs to be taken care of by the closest car.
 

sc8

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I just read the newspaper article about the new Central. What got me was someone's remark about how he could "put this center up against any in the northeast and possibly the country."

Technology wise, maybe. From what I've heard about some of the staff and policies, as documented here, I don't even think Central is tops here in Orange County
 
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DaveNF2G

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Remark probably made by someone who has not seen or heard any other dispatch centers.
 

PJH

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On the outside, OC911 actually sounds and works pretty well vs some of the area contempoary.

What you hear on the outside may not be wants going on in the inside.
 

Kevinbb

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Not arguing any points here. I'm glad, as I'm sure the dispatchers at Orange are that they moved to a new center. There will ALWAYS be radio problems no matter how old the system is. It just seems the work just piles on and with fewer people. It should be interesting around the "I love NY" tax me state the next 5 to 10 years as they scramble for something that should have been dealt with years ago. I work for a very busy Statewide Communications center that receives 9-1-1 cell calls from various 9-1-1 centers throughout the state and Orange is no exception. Every center has their own style but I can say first hand, that the dispatchers over at Orange are always professional and calm because I know they are getting hammered constantly. Its not bad enough having to deal with everything a County Center has to deal with but they are tasked with cell 9-1-1. I'm sure its a rotation position that they don't look forward to. I've dealt with the Vollies and others that don't get their radio answered right away. I used to be one :) Its frustrating but generally its beyond our control. We may have a hysterical caller on the line, on Officer on a traffic stop and a antsy Fire Chief looking for Mutual Aid all at once. Its the nature of the beast. Each and every center has not only had to handle increased traffic and a sue happy public but the dreaded CHANGE ! Some of it good but since the inception of the cell phone, the call volume has literally quadrupled everywhere. Most people haven't a clue or care whats going on behind the door. Even the ones that think they know. Some still think we dispatch from the Barracks down the street or the one they just passed on the highway.

Its a tough job all the way around but I wouldn't have it any other way. It makes a shift go flying by !

Keep up the good work Orange. Good luck in your new pad. Its a pleasure working with you

Kevin
TSOC
 
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DaveNF2G

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If you have one person dealing simultaneously with a 9-1-1 caller, a police officer on a traffic stop, and a fire chief looking for mutual aid, then your center is dangerously understaffed!
 

PJH

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Depends on the call volume. When I got started in public saftey, I worked for a small town. Alone, I handled police/fire/EMS/911/front desk.

Did things get handled, you bet. Could it have been hairy at times? It did.
 

APX8000

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When I got started in public saftey, I worked for a small town. Alone, I handled police/fire/EMS/911/front desk.
Same here. My first dispatch job was with a town PD and I dispatched the town and village PDs, 4 fire departments and EMS. Not to mention front desk, walk ins, DPW/water department, 7 digit, 911, EMD, NYSPIN, etc. And this was done all alone. I learned how to prioritze and multi task real quick, especially when the big storm blew through. Simulcast was my friend.

Funny thing is when I worked for communication centers that had multiple dispatchers, I was so used to doing everything myself, I actually missed it.
 
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