Chicago Dispatchers

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


NBC5 News aired a story tonight about RAPS. Second City Cop covers the subject well, with references to how short the districts are.We can thank "one of our own," whose identity we couldn't make out on the video at all (Do you even work the Ops Floor?), for tossing us up the creek without a paddle.

We can also thank Deputy Superintendent Charles Williams for blaming us for not having resources. He says that high-priority jobs should be given to anyone available, be it a tac/gang car or a supervisor.

Hello? What tac/gang cars are available, for example, between 5:45 and 6:30 p.m. in the middle of their shift change? How many supervisors will say "Put me down in the station on reports, squad." How many tac/gang sergeants will call on the PAX or come on the radio and clearly state that their cars are on a detail or mission and won't be answering the radio?

As for the "911 dispatcher" who appeared on the news segment, we won't speculate on your race. But how dare you throw the race card when you know (if you work the Ops Floor) that the districts that have the most RAPS are the districts that have the higher crime rates and worse manpower shortages at the same time? You apparently never work busy zones, and never have any yellow jobs during shift change when you have 5 10-99 units on the street for 45 minutes. We should tip our hats to you for being the greatest thing since sliced bread, the cream of the crop.

We see zones on days, afternoons, and midnights with yellow jobs and RAPs. Are all of those dispatchers "sitting" on the calls? How about the times when tac/gang units do ride on priority calls and there's still a backlog and a half page of jobs?

The citizen interviewed in the segment said that two hours is too long for a "priority one case." We couldn't agree more. We don't try to make citizens wait two hours for the police...when citizens have to wait two hours on a "priority one case" it's because we don't have police to send. Why do the media, a deputy superintendent of police, and one of "our own," choose to blame us for the lacking "resources" within the police department?

Williams would not confirm why so many RAPs seem to occur in minority neighborhoods.

"I'm not going to say (they could use more) resources. I will say that these are areas where, perhaps, you have a lot of gang activity that may be taking place," he said.

Really? Well, if there's that much gang activity in that area, don't you need more resources to handle and squash it? Or are we missing the big picture?

"The more serious a priority, the faster we want it dispatched and the faster we want it responded to," he said.

So do we. We just need someone who's done our job to explain to us how we should provide expedient service to higher-crime districts when an overabundance of your district manpower is allocated to places like 018 and 001 (can we say, at least 30 foot beats combined in addition to a wagon for each sector?). On midnights, many districts don't have wagons at all. Tac/gang cars are done at 0200 hours (officially), and in many districts that leaves a total of 20 or less police officers patrolling the streets in the wee hours of the a.m.

Williams said that dispatchers and their supervisors at the 911 center should immediately draw on other resources for priority one cases, whether a RAP is in effect or not.

Excuse us. A RAP is a situation where there are Radio Assignments Pending and there are no units to assign to those pending assignments. This isn't rocket science. To tell us to "draw on other resources" if "a RAP is in effect" is to tell us to pull cars that don't exist or are not available to assign out of our asses. Does anyone else see the blatant self-contradiction here?

We quote Second City Cop:

Screw this dispatcher and their half assed racial motivations and fuck Channel 5 for running with this bullshit story. WE HAVE NO MANPOWER IN THE DISTRICTS. Write your goddamn story about the unmanned rapid response cars and the 30% down beat cars every single midnight in most districts. Put the blame where it belongs - 5th Floor, City Hall.

We agree wholeheartedly. And we wish that the media would get the whole picture (and that "our own" would paint it insteading being a whore for camera time).

To whoever in our adminstration declined to comment and interview with the media: We don't know if your intentions were good or bad. But at least we can appreciate the fact that you didn't draw-and-quarter us and make us "fall guys" on citywide television like our own coworker did.

And to our faithful "coworker": Thanks for proving how we can't stick together and for setting us back 10 years, you puke. Dispatch on Zone 6, 8, 10, or 12 on any watch for a while and go back to the media when you can go 8 hours with nary a yellow job.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You wanna know why there is a RAP? I can tell you. It's the dog asses that work in the districts. I know in 007 there are asses that on 1st Watch hold themselves in the station for this and for that and go run to the desk to volunteer for desk runs, screw that! Get one of them lazy fat arsed desk crew off of their little chair, check out a car and get their own food, or coffee. I work gangs and I help out with shit in the districts, whomever that dispatcher is screw em. What a moron. 20 no back log, because there isn't shit going on up there, there are like 5 officers in the early 1st watch roll call. Come on. As far as 022, hey moronic turncoat dispatcher can you get 2211 to come to my beat to handle jobs? No? Why not? He has to be holding the hand of the "citizen" that lives on the other side of Western. Gettin' babys daddy out of the house. Unbelievable.

29 November, 2006 08:06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Before we all start pointing the finger at each other (meaning dispatcher vs cops), let's remember who the REAL turncoat is here. To Deputy Supt Charles Williams, if you had any brains (not to mention any balls) 1. You would have NEVER done that interview. 2. You would tell da mayor he really doesn't have enough police working on the street, and that's the bottom line. Oh yeah, you can't say that cuz he would probably have you pounding a beat back in 007 faster than you could say Channel 5 sucks!! (Man, it is a bitch to be slave to your pay check and those shiny stars on your lapel, and I didn't mean slave in a racial way so don't even go there with me.)

To the powers to be at the OEMC, I was initially pissed that you declined an offer to defend us on camera, but in retrospect it was probably a good idea. You probably would have pissed off the mayor trying to defend us, or proven Channel 5's case even more with your obvious and transparent lies. The same kind you feed us on a daily basis. By now, you would have been out of a job and we would be giving ourselves ulcers wondering how much worse your successor would be. Given the track record of the OEMC, I'm sure the Acting Deputy Dir of Police Operations would find a way to make herself a finalist for that job. Sometimes silence is really golden.

To ALL our fellow men and women police officers, tact units, sergeants and lieutenants: Be prepared for a whole new game.
Don't be surprised when a tact unit ask the dispatcher for a paper car for a 1A job, and you find out that YOU are the paper car. Just like Chuck Williams said last night, we need to utilize ALL resources for those high priority, in progress jobs. If you can do an arrest report, then you can take a battery j/o report. For the sergeants that like to give your beat cars lunches when your district is in a rap per your authority, be prepared to handle the assignment we were going to give that beat car. Not to mention that a copy of the lunch ticket will be forwarded to Chuck's office with your beat number and name on it. So that when the next time Chuckie blames the OEMC for not using all the departments resources, we can show him where the real break down is.

Maybe Channel 5 can do do their next expose on the Alternate Response Section, and how they blow off calls that are supposed to be handled by them. Instead they jedi mind trick the caller into demanding to see the police, which leaves them off the hook for the report and they can go back to surfing the internet. Great job there !!!

29 November, 2006 09:38  
Blogger anon ymous said...

I wonder if there is a way to see who ran a command very often. Like for example. USM T/RAP. or USM G/001, USM G/002, USM G/003....I wonder.....

29 November, 2006 10:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alternate Response handles more than 22% of the case reports citywide and so far this year has handled 11% more calls than at the same time last year. Don't throw stones when you live in a glass house.

29 November, 2006 11:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found this one on the second city blog spot...

Anonymous said...

Everyone is complaining that manpower and the deployment of the said manpower is the sole reason for the raps and backlogs. I think that the main problem, which dispatch will never admit, is the calltakers, they don't screen jobs the way they should, making jobs priority ones and in-progress with no vctims or complainants. When the old COS was operational you had a copper answering the phone, weeding through the bullshit, dropping codes on the bs disturbances etc. with no complainants; they would answer the phone, tell the lady to make her own son/daughter to eat her dinner and do her homework and not send a beat car.
Ask any oldtimer about manpower, they would go to rollcall everyday with all the cars one-man and still get the job done, albeit a difficult task but got it done nontheless, even with SOG, Task Force, Gangs, Narcs taking manpower from the districts; start screening these jobs, quit making kids arguing on the street an assault in progress and we wouldn't have these huge backlogs.

11/29/2006 10:20:34 AM

wow... if we could only still do that. I never worked the old room, but all of us have heard how some of the oldtimers used to "clear their board" at the end of the shift.

I do agree with the classification thing though. Gangbangers loitering, not doing something gang related, is not a GANGD... sorry! And just becauase someone is arguing that doesn't make it an ASLTIP. Assault means threats, right? anyways...

And please don't tell me you can't take a ton of calls and get all the needed information. I used to calltake, I took a lot of calls, and NEVER got a CI #.

I'm sure we'll be hearing it today in rollcall.

29 November, 2006 11:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Time to follow the rules! CAPS is back with a vengence. Follow the SOPs and GO's to the letter. Next time Lt Williams wants to rattle on
he can rattle on about the CPd CAPs program. Dispatchers don't bend the rules, put your boots on and just wade through that board.
Calltakers make sure you don't bend the rules either, ask every question you are suppose too, and most definetly do the 2 times call back on EVERY hangup. It's the rules and it's about time we follow them.

29 November, 2006 12:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

heres a thought lets look at the residents of the community for the reason why theres a backlog....heres a typical call day in the "minority districts" domestic...see the complainant miss jones where her eight year old son is being disrespectful....funny miss jones sounds like you need to step up and be a parent instead of calling the police,....wheres the father of the son...hmmmmmm.....the baby daddy disturbance over keys...priceless...the ghetto family gathering..uncle tyrone had too many 40s and is being aggressive..funny in the minority districts we are an key factor in family life why is that? and you wonder why we are in a backlog? maybe if certain members in these communities will take responsibility for their lives and families and dont call the police for every thing...we can have time for the "police matters"....thank god for caps

29 November, 2006 14:16  
Blogger leomemorial said...

I work for a emergency answering service (medical, psych, employee stress, legal, etc).

Someone told me that 311 is supposed to handle the non emergency calls, which is a damn joke to me. When I worked for revenue, 311 dumped everything on us, non revenue calls.

So if you're getting bullshit calls, why can't you refer callers to 311?

29 November, 2006 16:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

311 replaced the Mayors' office.
Any call that needs a unit to respond has to go through 911. Parkers, open hydrants, check well beings etc.

29 November, 2006 18:33  
Blogger SECOND CITY SARGE said...

As a sergeant I try to run and clear as many of the B.S. disturbances as I can to help eliminate the RAP. Yes I will authorize lunch during a RAP. When it is busy that RAP could go on for months or so it seems. There is a box on a supervisors log next to every car "lunch taken" and it better be checked "yes" or the log will be kicked back. So if I'm required to check yes then you better believe they are getting their lunch.
I'm a little offened that we at second city sarge dont rate to get a link at your site and second city dick does...just a thought

29 November, 2006 19:17  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


311 has two sections, one side is the Mayors office of Inquiry. Their civilians and they handle work orders, open hydrants, replacement of garbage cans, rat abatement, tree trimming and many other work and needs requests. Their always busy. They have their own call waiting Que.

Second side is the Police side. They do not handle open hydrants, they do handle various police reports but not all reports, they send requests over to 911 for dispatch if needed and not all are Jedi's, LOL, They also provide police related info., criminal and civil court, order of protection info., etc. to the numerous citizens and visitors that do call. They diffuse irate callers on the phone with an art form of many variations depending on their work style, just like in the field. They are police and they roll without a car but with a headset they also have their own call waiting Que, their very busy as well. The dept. is mismanaged and understaffed both OEMC and their separated sister the Police Dept. are doing the best they can with what their working with and these days its not much. Yes, 5th floor is the reason it's so screwed up and the Mayor has in hands now deeply embedded in both divisions, don't let them divide any further. Williams was being a typical boss does any one with time not understand there is no being a stand up Boss openly with this Mayor. In a dream maybe things would be different but your not dreaming. Williams was defending his ranks to the best of his ability. OEMC bowed out as instructed. Bad info. was given by the Shadow One but that's his personal perception, nothing more, nothing less. Tomorrow is another day, so get some rest and welcome back home to Sweet Chicago the Windy City.

29 November, 2006 19:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Sarge! I'm gone, but back in the day I'd do anything to avoid putting in a RAP for a few reasons. One is to keep a wagon up and available at any cost for anyone in the field who needs it (personal theory from zone 6). The other is to make sure that SOMEONE is available on my board if ANYONE gets shot or stabbed.

So no sending people all over the district for disturbances or reports.

This may out me, but I'm one of the few who would raise supervisors and ask for carte blanche authority to hold priority 2 and 3 jobs as appropriate (preferably for the beat cars).

Two tricks to the lunch thing. If a car was coming off of 4 hours and 12-20 jobs or an arrest or whatever, you better believe they were getting lunch come hell or high water.

On the other hand, if the first I hear of someone's lunch is when I call them for work, the lunch would be denied if the job was in-progress or shots fired or something relatively serious among the 1As. Having had the experience somewhere or other of having 4 or 5 cars in a row go down on lunch after simulcasting such a call and then paging each of the 4 or 5 cars, it just got to the point where I decided "never again".

Anyway, you have the authority to tell a dispatcher to hold all priority 2 and 3 jobs as appropriate in your district.

Letting things get disorganized and having units running all over the district for every little thing always seemed like a great way to prolong a backlog.

29 November, 2006 19:50  
Blogger CPDDispatch said...


I'm a little offened that we at second city sarge dont rate to get a link at your site and second city dick does...just a thought

Rectified with our apologies. Ironically, we were thinking the reverse.

29 November, 2006 20:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

R.A.P. = Richie And Pals!
All the finger pointing should be at no one but the #1 man of the city ......Mayor Daley.
Hire more police, dispatchers and call takers.

29 November, 2006 20:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You've got to be kidding me. What a joke. Phil Rogers you are a fucking idiot! No I mean it, a total, complete, useless, waste of a human life. Didn't you take a journalism 101 course? How long did it take you to to research your story? How many "dispatchers" did you interview? Do you know of the history or qualifications of the person you interviewed, and in fact if they were an actual dispatcher who worked on the operations floor? Or perhaps they were a calltaker or some flunky puke who is detailed off of the floor to suck ass for the "powers that be" on the management floor of the OEMC.
There are raps in every district and yes they occur more frequently in minority districts like you said. That's about where any merit to your story ends Phil Rogers. The first district you mentioned was the 8th district. The 8th district is probably the most diverse district in the city, white, black, hispanic all live in the 8th district (1 more piece of research you probably didn't do you fucking puke ass hillbilly bastard).
How about listening to some of the calls that actually were dispatched during that "rap". Dispatchers have little discretion as to which jobs they can pick and choose to give out. If it's a high priority and its been up there the longest then its going to get dispatched. After dispatching the almost 20,000 calls for service that come in to the 911 center every day one tends to know if a call is bullshit or not. For instance there are kids standing on the street corner in front of my house. Now 20 mins later same citiczen looks out the window and gets upset so they call back. 10 mins later still no police (because they are handling real emergencies) so the citiczen calls back again and says one of the kids has a gun. Same citiczen who is so concerned then asks to remain anonymous because they "don't want to get involved". Police show up, pat the kids down, find exactly what the kids have NOTHING!!!!! Now the kids whole family come out auntie, uncle, mama, grandmother, sisters best friends step-mom and all yell that the police are harassing their kids. So now you need a sgt and probably a couple more cars all held down on this bullshit job that could be handling real emergencies. Many calls for service are not bonafide. Let me say it again MANY CALLS FOR POLICE SERVICE ARE NOT BONAFIDE. For the media types that are slow and don't understand the English language that well not bonafide means, not real, never existed, or my favorite BULLSHIT!
911 supervisors are so sick and tired of calling arp/311 supervisors regarding events that were created for dispatch that should have been handled by arp/311 that they usually tell the dispatcher to "just send a car". When I started dispatching a long long time ago we were told that there were jobs that were "mandatory arp". This was to aleviate the district resources from handling non lifethreatening paper jobs. Thus keeping the beat cars and rapids up and available for in progress and life threatening jobs. Wow what a great concept too bad it doesn't work that way. Either arp gets busy or joe taxpayer doesn't want to wait on the phone and calls back and calls back and calls back until some fool decides to send him the police.
Here's the biggest reason why the city of Chicago has "raps". The mayor and aldercreatures would rather have a bean, some planters, and the hired truck scandal than hire the extra amount of police officers needed to keep this city safe. That's the real reason. The CPD is at least 3000 police officers short. How is a dispatcher supposed to utilize other resources if all resources are depleted!?! If all the resources and manpower weren't tied up handling the many other jobs for service there wouldn't be a "rap" in the first place! That's why there is a "rap" more jobs than manpower. It's been a while since I've been in school but math hasn't changed much since the ancient Greeks. 1+1=2 plain and simple. If you have 20 marked patrol cars including sgts, and 5 tact/gang cars but there's 40 calls for service pending you're probably going to have a rap. Mean while for every call the police answer 2 more calls are coming in. It's a never ending vicious cycle almost every day that doesn't end until the criminals fall asleep. The only thing to help it would be for the mayor to stand up and hire 3000 more police officers, and not 3000 over the next 5 years that solves nothing. CPD needs 3000 more po's now.

29 November, 2006 20:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

8:59, I couldn't agree with you more!!!!

and just because Phil Rogers says it was a dispatcher, doesnt mean it really was!! It could have been a calltaker, a supervisor, or some idiot that doesnt even work on the OPs floor!

thank you "co-worker" for selling us out. maybe you should've mentioned a few reasons WHY we're in RAPs all the time (besides the obvious fact -- there aren't enough police officers). I'm talking about, at change time, on 3rd watch, when we're holding down 6 cars and 1 sgt. at one high school, and then 4 cars and 2 tact teams, the late wagon and 1 sgt at another.... all to babysit the animals that attend these schools. and god forbid you pull anyone off the school dismissals to take 1a jobs.
Meanwhile, all we can do is read out the pending jobs. So the bosses can hear what's waiting..... and waiting....and waiting.......

30 November, 2006 02:56  
Blogger leomemorial said...

Thank you for explaing all of this, to the posters.

I take it none of you get lunches, breaks, (logged off and away from the phones)??

30 November, 2006 09:09  
Anonymous experience speaks volumes said...

leomemorial said...
Thank you for explaing all of this, to the posters.

I take it none of you get lunches, breaks, (logged off and away from the phones)??

9:09 AM

Guess what LEO? You just bit a hand that gave you a chance in the past and who also assisted in your past research via SCC, during Hampton sign issue aka LINE OF DUTY. Your comments above are disrespectful to Officers, whose duties are imposed upon them by their employer, be it temp or otherwise, be it break or otherwise! You just crossed the line with this old timer! So I'm going to clarify it for you.

This Salty Gunslinger wants you to further understand. Your comments are not only condescending but are known as covert nasty nice put downs. I gave you space with the 311 slap, figuring just maybe you didn't really understand but you just had to jump in again. This time in an attempt to take over via false leadership angle with the faked, Thank You for the posters. Then on top of that, you make a second move.

Your petty comments were not only sarcastic but insulting as well, contrived from and out of your twisted projected vision of your narrow personal image and perception of what made or makes a COP A COP. Exactly who do you think you need to defend? So LEO, it now appears and this is an easy common sense evaluation, making perfect sense. These 311 Officer's in your perception on strengths/masculine attributes. Appeal to you on a whole as being, what? The answer, VERY WEAK less Masculine! This distorted impression is not so uncommon. None the less.

You see LEO/Renee as a civilian you don't get that right to take internal slaps on any Officers and to make matters worse you know better or should. You played out like a foe and of all fine places, on a 911 Civilian Dispatcher's blog. Police get enough bad slaps and RAPS and yes, you fully intended to be a smart ass!

30 November, 2006 19:22  
Anonymous leomemorial said...

what the hell are you talking about? The place I work at is equally as bad. We are severely UNDERSTAFFED and have to wait an average of 6+ hours before we get a break, IF even a lunch break.

And 311 DOES suck!!! They have no fucking clue where to send any calls whatsoever. I know, because I worked as a temp in the Revenue Business Licensing Dept. We had calls dumped onto us for fishing licenses, Police Officers calling about FBA, building codes, you name it.

I wasn't slamming officers, but if these people are understaffed and not getting breaks, etc. it needs to change!!

30 November, 2006 20:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

P.s. IF you DO work for 311, try typing in departments via Google!! Example: Chicago fishing license. That way you can direct people to the RIGHT department for a change.

30 November, 2006 20:51  
Anonymous Anonymous said...



30 November, 2006 22:02  
Anonymous experience speaks volume said...

Anonymous said...
P.s. IF you DO work for 311, try typing in departments via Google!! Example: Chicago fishing license. That way you can direct people to the RIGHT department for a change.

8:51 PM

Before I get some shut eye my final comment to you LEO, is since this appears to be coming from you, again. I knew the lay of land in 311. The only way you would know if it was an Officer, is if they stayed on the line and told you. Since this is a rare oddity indeed. Due in part to their work style and time along with the major factor of old systems. Which also happen to have numerous
pre-programed out of date bottoms for direct dial to various agencies, through out the State. The majority of errors would not be their fault. So if you made the above crack. Again, you would be showing yourself up, as failing to learn from experience by lashing out inappropriately. Do yourself a favor and learn to bite your tongue till it bleeds, this may help.

01 December, 2006 03:56  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

who the hell are you, "Grandfather Blog?" If it's outdated, then what have you done to correct it? Or at least make an attempt?

01 December, 2006 06:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

leomemorial said...
Thank you for explaing all of this, to the posters.

I take it none of you get lunches, breaks, (logged off and away from the phones)??

9:09 AM

Ya know what....YOU HAVE NO CLUE!!!! Your snotty remark to Experience Speaks Volumes certainly said much about your character. I don't give a damn if you work for an answering service, call center or whatever.....Regardless of how many calls you THINK you receive, it cannot POSSIBLY compare to the amount of calls received by the 911 and 311 STFU!!
Seems to me that you spend an awful lot of time skimming all over these police blogs...tell me, are you a Badge Bunny? or just a wanna-be Star Gazer?? Yeah, I'm a civilian working with these officers and your continued attempts at playing the "oh officer can you please explain the workings of this, that and the other" are really getting OLD! It's not coy or anything, it's actually pathetic.
As for your comments about people getting time away like lunches, breaks and logged off from the phones, etc.....If you had a clue you would already know that we work thru our breaks/lunches on almost a daily basis due to shortage of manpower. Don't even get started on your kick about how you are so "in the know" about the 311 center or OEMC operates...your attempt at throwing around expert opinions on these topics is laughable! How dare you belittle ANYONE working for 911 or 311.

01 December, 2006 09:23  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do not confuse 311 with Alternate Response. 311 is all civilian personnel and ARS is all sworn police. 311 screens all the incoming calls and routes them to ARS.

01 December, 2006 13:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
who the hell are you, "Grandfather Blog?" If it's outdated, then what have you done to correct it? Or at least make an attempt?

6:08 AM

Another idiot who has no clue that in this fine functional wanna be City. No matter how hard you try, via verbal, written, phone calls, etc. no matter how on the target you are about the outdated screwed up equipment. It does not matter! Companies disappear in the dark of night, contracts don't get renewed, parts can't be located and equipment sits with combo dust balls the size of tennis balls. Shortages abound everywhere including in the area to call for repairs. This Christmas lets send all the Alder-stamps and the Mayor a Red sprayed Tennis ball making it worthless, we can forward some to the media as well. : () : )

02 December, 2006 00:18  

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