(Submitted to NorthIowaToday.com by Dan Greean)
Being the owner of a scanner, I hear the communication problems between dispatchers and law enforcement everyday.
Officers try to call dispatchers and vice versa two or three times and it doesn’t go over but I hear it on my scanner good.
This causes friction between them and they snap at each other.
The Fire Department does not get the tone of the fire horn for emergencies sometimes. That means a delay in response time. Officers are always complaining about computer problems, getting kicked off and having to reboot. I’ve talked to some of them and asked what the problem was and they said it was the equipment the City buys them.
Maybe the City should buy them quality equipment instead of cheap stuff and quit spending so much money trying to make this city pretty. I think protecting the citizens is more important as do other people I have talked to. Especially when it comes to a fast response to someone that could be dying.
I’ve talked to City and County officials about this problem and gotten lots of excuses. Someday this problem is going to lead to a death and the City will be liable. Wouldn’t it be cheaper to spend some money now before it’s too late and someone loses a loved one?
Officers get sent to wrong addresses and the dispatchers say it was a computer glitch. When I talked to the City Administrator, I asked why the Highway Patrol doesn’t have this problem. He said they have better and more expensive equipment.
I asked the Fire Department why they say they are en route to a different address than the dispatcher gave them and they blamed it on background noise.
I talked to a person from the County Board of Supervisors and got a big run around.
Dispatchers have enough trouble getting the correct information and having to deal with cheap equipment probably doesn’t help. Course it might help if the dispatchers’ partner wouldn’t be laughing in the background also!
Some dispatchers apologize a lot. I don’t think that’s computer problems!
I probably just wasted a lot of my time writing this letter but I thought the citizens should know what goes on just in case they ever have to wait for help.
If anyone doubts that this has happened, I have 57 pages of notes to prove it. I wonder how many more I would have if I could listen 24/7 but I have places to go and I have to sleep. Plus I’d probably develop writer’s cramp.
Also, I could give you names of people I have contacted several times about this problem that work for this city and county but I will save that information for future references. Even if I did give names, they would have more excuses than Heinz has pickles, believe me I’ve heard a lot of them!