KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI
Officer Safety … Customer Service
The Communications Unit is the link between the customer who needs service and the officer that provides the service. Our priorities, therefore, are Officer Safety and Customer Service. Our customers are not limited to the public but include other department members or members of other agencies with whom we come in contact.
The unit is entirely comprised of civilian employees, we are authorized 109 personnel: 1 Unit Manager, 10 Supervisors, 51 Dispatchers, 36 Calltakers, 6 Telephone Service Officers, and 5 Telephone Operators.
The Kansas City Missouri Police Department Communications Unit is responsible for:
1.) Answering calls received on Kansas City’s 9-1-1 System and the KCPD Plexar (switchboard) System;
2.) The prompt processing and correct handling of the calls received;
3.) The prompt dispatching of calls for service;
4.) Monitoring and managing police radio traffic; and Training of new Communications Unit Personnel.
The Kansas City Missouri Police Department Communications Unit is the PSAP (Public Safety Answering Point) for Kansas City Missouri. As such all 9-1-1 calls generated in KCMO are answered by our Calltakers. 9-1-1 calls are received by an automatic call distribution system. This insures that calls are answered in the order received.
In 2008 Calltakers in the Communications Unit handled 892,791 calls (572,449 on 9-1-1 and 320,342 on Plexar for just under 2 per minute all year round). Our Calltakers are responsible for determining whether calls sent to the PSAP require Police (66.5%), Fire (1.5%), Ambulance (5.0%), or some other type of response (27.0%).
Dispatchers, in addition to being fully qualified as Calltakers, are responsible for dispatching the Police calls entered by the Calltakers, entering and dispatching calls they have taken over the radio or administrative lines, handling radio traffic, and filling requests for support services made by officers (tow trucks, ambulance, fire dept, computer checks, etc).
Telephone Service Officers (TSO’s) handle calls from citizens that may otherwise have been handled by a Calltaker or Police Officer. They handled 19,201 calls in 2008, which equals just over 1,600 per month. Of those calls 12,778 were informational in nature (directions, advice, referrals, computer checks, and other customer service calls) which left the Calltakers available to handle incoming emergency calls. The rest (6,423) were reports. Taking those reports left the Police Officers in the field more able to respond to emergency calls.
The Switchboard Operators answer all the calls that come in on 234-5000 line and connect or direct the callers to the person they need. The Switchboard Operators also make all of KCPD’s outgoing long distance calls, maintain a log of those calls, and check them against the monthly long distance bill. Finally, they maintain an updated roster of department members and their assignments.