Emergency communications for the City of Saratoga Springs are handled within the Police Department by Public Safety Dispatchers. The Communications Center is staffed twenty-four hours a day by these dedicated civilian personnel. Public Safety Dispatchers are responsible for answering all police, fire and EMS telephone calls for service on both the 911 and the non-emergency lines, and dispatch police, fire and EMS radio calls from the Communications Center.
The dispatch center is staffed by twelve full time civilian dispatchers who work eight hour shifts; 12:00 AM to 8:00 AM, 8:00 AM to 4:00 AM, and 4:00 PM to 12:00 Midnight. In addition to answering both emergency and non emergency telephone calls, Public Safety Dispatchers monitor a variety of alarms for both the police and fire service throughout the city. Public Safety Dispatchers are also trained in the use of the State of New York's eJusticeNY computerized network. eJusticeNY is a browser-based application designed to give users from qualified agencies a single point of access to computerized information within and beyond New York State. eJusticeNY embodies the concept of coordinated and integrated criminal justice information systems for New York State. To learn more about eJusticeNY, go to http://criminaljustice.state.ny.us/ojis/ejusticeinfo.htm on the Web.
Public Safety Dispatchers are also trained in use of the Department's computerized records system utilizing Computer-assisted dispatch (also called CAD). This is a method of dispatching emergency services assisted by computer. It can either be used to send messages to field units via a mobile data terminal (also called an MDT) and/or used to store and retrieve data (i.e. radio logs, field interviews, suspect or arrest record information, officer safety alerts, etc.). A dispatcher may announce the call details to field units over the two-way radio. CAD systems allow employees in the dispatch center to easily view and understand the status of all units being dispatched. CAD provides displays and tools so that the dispatcher has an opportunity to handle calls-for-service as efficiently as possible.
The CAD system consist of several modules that provide services at multiple levels in the communications center. These services include call input, call dispatching, call status maintenance, event notes, field unit status and tracking, and call resolution and disposition.
The Department's Computerized Records and CAD System is a software suite called IMPACT, and is a product of Admit Computer Services in New York State.