Question about "Silent Dispatch"

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AlphaDelta10

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I've heard about Police Departments/Sheriff's Offices having computers in their vehicles and getting their calls through that. I was just curious for anyone who knows of this in their area if it is indeed "silent." A little while ago our local EMS went to computers in the Ambulances. What happens when I listen is the Medic unit will acknowledge a call and then the dispatcher will verbally repeat the call the Medic unit acknowledged, therefore, it's not really "silent." Just wondering if anyone out there knows anything about this. I'm really guessing it depends on the agency. My local Police Department is heading in that direction and I'm just curious how much I'm going to miss.
 
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rabidmoose57

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Southeast Iowa.
About a third.......

Our Pd here in St.Joseph has mobile data terminals in all of the cars. As far as I can tell, the traffic coming over the air has dropped about a third. What seems to be missing are the details you'd normally expect to hear about a call. I've noticed that calls involving juviniles being abused or assualted have dissappeared altogether. The sensitivity to such things is appropriate ,just don't like being kept in the dark. Oddly, while our medical folk keep some details off the air, they turn around and give full patient reports to the hospital while enroute, in the clear, over the air. Nothings perfect I guess!
 

qlajlu

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The police agencies in my area also are MDT equipped and the radio traffic has dropped. However, the most urgent priority calls, the ones that always draw your attention (armed robberies, shootings, stabbings, active fights) go out over the air. All containment operations, when a suspect runs from the police, go over the air. I haven't noticed any appreciable decline in good things to listen to. The MDTs are mostly used for filing reports.

The fire departments also have MDTs, but they seem to use them as a backup to the tear sheets to make sure they are responding to the correct address and to submit reports.

The medical services here have taken to using cell phones to call in patient information to the hospitals. They do have MDTs but I don't think they are used to communicate with the hospitals.
 

jrholm

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Big Bear
My dept. uses MDT's. All of our routine calls for service only come over the box and we do our en route, arrival, and end/clearences over the MDT. We also run our subjects and vehicles via the box. Usually the only thing you get on the air is priority or emergent calls and officer needs help type stuff ( you know the really good stuff).....
 

Big_Ears

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Most agencies try not to transmit address-type information "over the air" when X's (police code for females) are involved.
 

b7spectra

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Cobb County, GA
Cobb County (GA) have the MDT's in their cars, but all calls, that we know of, are still OTA (Over The Air) in case an officer would need a backup to be enroute. It also helps the Lt or Sgt know what is going on if they are away from their MDT. It's really odd that with the MDT's in their cars, they still call in 27/28's (wants/warrants/DL info) over the air.
 

KE7TJK

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S.E. Washington State
In my area the PD, sheriff, and FD uses MDT's.

PD's radio traffic is about the same as it was without. Only big difference is the details of the call are referred to a call # on the MDT. Address, type of call, ect are still on the air. Sometimes, they dispatch units with 'MDT only' on the call, and that is for obvious reasons.

PD here also still runs wants/warrants over the air, and that is mostly when the officer is on portable away from the car. They do ask dispatch to verify what they see on their screens at times.

FD dispatches the same as before MDT's. They refer to the call # if there are details to the call that may be too lengthy to broadcast.

Sheriff dispatches the same as well, referring to call # as well for details. They still also run wants/ warrants over the air most of the time. Sheriffs system here is cell phone based, so they either have no service at times (fringe areas) or the mobile client drops off the network. (Like bad cell service.)
 

NWI_Scanner_Guy

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Hammond, IN
I've just recently started concentrating a lot of attention on the Chicago PD. Sometimes when I'm listening, I'll hear an officer ask if the dispatcher can send some information over their computer.

I'm not sure if that's the extent of their (MDT) use, but I have an idea it's more widespread than that. Like I said, I'm a Johnny-come-lately to the CPD scene, so I don't know how the volume of traffic used to be.
 

jim202

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New Orleans region
The use of the MDT's will vary from agency to agency. In the greater Washington DC region
as some people call it CAPITAL REGION, much of the dispatching is done via the MDT. After
the call is sent, you will hear various voice coms over the radio. Even the region fire agencies
are using their MDT systems more and more. It cuts down on the on air chatter by a bunch.

Even a number of state police agencies are using their MDT systems for regular checks. This
off loads the dispatcher from having to spend so much time going back and forth over the
radio with this traffic.

You will see a slow migration of traffic from voice to the MDT systems over time. Not only
does it lower the voice clutter on busy radio channels, it does provide the foot soldier in
the field with faster, better and in many cases actual photos of the people they have
stopped. Makes trying to determine if you have the correct person if there is a warrant
out on the person you have stopped. In some cases you may not have the correct ID
from the person stopped. The MDT can even give the ability to even send finger prints and
get back an answer fairly fast. All depends on what hardware is in the vehicle.

Jim



I've heard about Police Departments/Sheriff's Offices having computers in their vehicles and getting their calls through that. I was just curious for anyone who knows of this in their area if it is indeed "silent." A little while ago our local EMS went to computers in the Ambulances. What happens when I listen is the Medic unit will acknowledge a call and then the dispatcher will verbally repeat the call the Medic unit acknowledged, therefore, it's not really "silent." Just wondering if anyone out there knows anything about this. I'm really guessing it depends on the agency. My local Police Department is heading in that direction and I'm just curious how much I'm going to miss.
 

qlajlu

Silent Key
Joined
Jul 25, 2005
Messages
2,287
Location
Kearns, Utah
You will see a slow migration of traffic from voice to the MDT systems over time. Not only does it lower the voice clutter on busy radio channels, it does provide the foot soldier in the field with faster, better and in many cases actual photos of the people they have stopped. Makes trying to determine if you have the correct person if there is a warrant out on the person you have stopped. In some cases you may not have the correct ID from the person stopped. The MDT can even give the ability to even send finger prints and get back an answer fairly fast. All depends on what hardware is in the vehicle.

Jim
Jim brings up a good point. Another valuable use of the MDT in my area is the ability to pull up neighborhood maps. It seems lately that there is a trend to flee when an officer attempts a stop. They flee into a neighborhood, dump the car, and take off on foot. The maps give valuable information to the officer for setting up containment and organizing a search by K-9 units. I don't care how good an officer is, he cannot know every nook and cranny in every neighborhood and these maps help overcome that. It has been an effective tool.
 
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