The Pittsfield Police Dispatch center located in the Police Department dispatches Police, Fire, EMS, for the City of Pittsfield. The dispatch unit consists of twelve full time civilian dispatchers and three part time civilian dispatchers including a Dispatch Supervisor and Assistant Dispatch Supervisor. The dispatch center is staffed 24 hours a day 365 days a year. There are three dispatchers on duty during the day and evening shifts and two dispatchers on during the midnight shift.
Dispatchers answer ALL incoming calls to the Pittsfield Police Department, plus all 911 calls that come in via landline and cell phones. Police, Fire, and EMS units are then dispatched by dispatchers working in the communication center.
Dispatchers are provisional civil service employees. All dispatchers undergo a three month in house training which includes but is not limited to, learning the Police and Fire Department’s computer system, criminal justice procedures for verifying in state and out state warrants, procedures for running criminal background checks both in and out of state, procedures for running vehicle and operator licensing information through the Registry of Motor Vehicles computer systems in all states, becoming familiar with all streets and beats in the city as well as locations of businesses, radio etiquette, Pittsfield Police and Fire Department Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s), policies and procedures, and rules and regulations.
Upon completion of the above training all dispatchers are then required by the state of Massachusetts to be trained, tested and certified in the following before become full time dispatchers and going on their own:
- Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD)
- Emergency 911 (E911)
- Forty hour off site 911
- Criminal Justice Information Systems (CJIS)
- Incident Command Systems (ICS)
- A full day ride along with the Pittsfield Fire Department
- A full day ride along with the Pittsfield Police Department
Dispatchers need to be able to multi task and it is not uncommon for a dispatcher to be talking on the phone to a citizen, while entering call into the computer, talking to multiple officer’s on the radio, running license plates or warrant checks all at the same time. 911 calls take priority and all dispatchers have the ability to multi task and know what’s going on in the dispatcher center at all times including Police, Fire, and EMS. During storms dispatch is the main liaison between Police, Fire and other city agencies such as the highway department, water, department and any other city department that needs involvement. Dispatch is also the department’s liaison to all utility companies, tow companies, and other law enforcement agencies.
All dispatchers undergo a rigorous background check before being hired by the department and must not have a criminal background or criminal record of any kind in any state.