No Call Too Small Philosophy

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Stump
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No Call Too Small Philosophy

Postby Stump » Wed May 13, 2015 2:54 pm

Just wondering what members think about this philosophy.

I work in a communication centre that takes complaints, and dispatches for several detachments. The detachments range from a city of almost 90 thousand, to small detachments with around two thousand residents.

Our provincial management is pushing the no call too small philosophy. They either fail to see, or refuse to acknowledge, that service level expectations in the small detachments does not work in the larger detachments. While some detachments respond to every call for service, it is just not feasible in larger detachments. The large detachment I dispatch for is actually looking to see where they can cut some services, due to city council turning down the request for more members.

Along with the no call too small philosphy, management pretty well wants every call received to be written up as a file. Again what management does realize, or refuses to acknowledge, is that if we write up every call received, then someone has to spend time dealing with it, and writing it off. For example a call was received about a cougar being spotted out in a very rural area - no real threat to public safety as cougar and bear sightings are a regular occurrence. The dispatcher could have easily referred the caller to the appropriate agency. The member assigned had to take the time to call the complainant back and advise that they should have called the Conservation Officer Service. The member then had to write up the file and conclude it. It probably took the member 10 - 15 minutes to do all this. If the member had half a dozen files like this over the course of a shift, then at least an hour of productive time is lost.

What management doesn't realize, or refuses to acknowlege, is this philosophy is causing push back from the members, and rightly so. The philosophy is also creating a wedge between the dispatchers and the members, that seems to widen day by day. Members get frustrated at having to deal with frivolous calls, and dispatchers are frustrated at having to take the call in the first place. Management tells us that it is not our responsibility to screen calls, and it is up to the member to deal with it regardless. I wholeheartedly disagree.

Your thoughts please !!

Stump

GPZ
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Re: No Call Too Small Philosophy

Postby GPZ » Wed May 13, 2015 5:32 pm

I would suggest your provincial management read up on the current state of the economics of policing. Agencies are being held more accountable for the (very expensive) time spent by sworn police officers and are typically looking for efficiencies. That said, assuming you have clearly written policy on what constitutes a call for service and are following that policy, the inefficiencies will become apparent in their own time. Terrible response times would be one indication.

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Re: No Call Too Small Philosophy

Postby Pete Broccolo » Wed May 13, 2015 5:43 pm

Actually, it is NOT up to the call-centre, but up to the Detachments, to make the decision on what to respond to. If something gets missed because a dispatcher did not think it was good enough, without going through a supervisor, to pass onto the members that would respond, NOW how do you look?

I ALSO thought, "back in the day", on SOME of my call, "Aww, C'MON, MAN!", but hey, duty calls. Unless you are at the level of making major decisions for others, "It's all pensionable!"
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Re: No Call Too Small Philosophy

Postby Toonces » Thu May 14, 2015 9:31 am

What Pete said! All we can do is one call at a time. If upper mgmt is mandating taking these type calls, all we can do is deal with them. If something serious comes in during dealing with the non-police matter calls, re-direct to the more serious call. If that means that the cougar sighting waits for several hours or days to be addressed, just articulate it, and move on.

If I was a decision maker, I would be reviewing the economics as GPZ said. I would think that a call as mentioned like a cougar sighting - no threat to public - should be handled by the communications centre by way of public education and redirect to appropriate agency, with no assignment to road officers.
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mack_silent
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Re: No Call Too Small Philosophy

Postby mack_silent » Thu May 14, 2015 11:39 am

An idea that may work. At my workplace we have a computer dispatch system with "activities" and "incidents".

"Activities" are entered by the dispatcher, categorized, and notes can be added quickly (in 30 seconds). They are great for tracking minor occurences.
If an occurence goes above something minor, then the dispatcher creates an "incident" (from the activity), the dispatch notes transfer, and a report is filled out by the person who responded.

So in the example of the cougar:
Time/date/location is entered by dispatch,
and categorized into "animal call",
then they can enter notes such as "rural area, no threat to public, transfered caller to wild life support".

This then saves time for frontline response staff.
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Re: No Call Too Small Philosophy

Postby Dudley DoRight » Thu May 14, 2015 3:29 pm

Or, you could take the time to deal fully and professionally with every single call, completing the file and only releasing yourself after every last thing is finished...that should result in some really upset people at the lag in response times and hopefully the sewage will back up all the way to whoever decided on this policy. You get paid for a shift, do the shift and go home. If you can't complete the work, file for OT or leave it on your desk till next time. When you can't see your desk for the pile, maybe somebody will do soemthing about it? To cover up for the problem will only encourage, and permit it, to get worse.

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Re: No Call Too Small Philosophy

Postby BravoZulu » Fri May 15, 2015 2:43 pm

It's possible that a higher call volume would mean more FTE's provided for a given area. Could be expensive but create jobs.

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Re: No Call Too Small Philosophy

Postby Homer » Sat May 16, 2015 8:03 pm

BravoZulu wrote:It's possible that a higher call volume would mean more FTE's provided for a given area. Could be expensive but create jobs.

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Re: No Call Too Small Philosophy

Postby Longarm9 » Mon May 18, 2015 10:44 am

I've been in law enforcement for 8 years now. I'm not a police officer, but I've gained some perspective that might be useful.

It seems that out of touch decisions from higher are fairly common in this profession. My suggestion is for officers and dispatchers to sort of get their heads together on the subject and come to an understanding that neither of them are going to be able to change the policy coming down from above, and that, as others have mentioned, it's all pensionable time. Just go with the flow and deal with every call as it comes; just keep doing your jobs professionally to the best of your ability. Let everything back up as it invariably will, and when things go completely to shit, remind the management that they are solely to blame for the boondoggle, and they may wish to re-think their policies.

Also, document everything so certain higher ups don't have the option to try and shirk the blame. When it comes time to deal with the big shit sandwich, officers documenting everything will make sure the leadership has to eat their fair share.

Best of luck!
Last edited by Longarm9 on Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: No Call Too Small Philosophy

Postby Punisher-One » Mon May 18, 2015 10:47 am

Longarm9 wrote:I've been in law enforcement for 8 years now. I'm not a police officer, but I've gained some perspective that might be useful.

It seems that stupid, out of touch decisions from higher are fairly common in this profession. My suggestion is for officers and dispatchers to sort of get their heads together on the subject and come to an understanding that neither of them are going to be able to change the policy coming down from above, and that, as others have mentioned, it's all pensionable time. Just go with the flow and deal with every call as it comes; just keep doing your jobs professionally to the best of your ability. Let everything back up as it invariably will, and when things go completely to shit, remind the management that they are solely to blame for the boondoggle, and they may wish to re-think their policies.

Also, document everything so certain higher ups don't have the option to try and shirk the blame. When it comes time to deal with the big shit sandwich, officers documenting everything will make sure the leadership has to eat their fair share.

Best of luck!
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Longarm9
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Re: No Call Too Small Philosophy

Postby Longarm9 » Mon May 18, 2015 10:49 am

Punisher-One wrote:Always get everything in writing and if you think you may be screwed later print the emails and keep them in your safe at home.
Yep. And ATIP is your friend.
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gotchya
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Re: No Call Too Small Philosophy

Postby gotchya » Mon May 18, 2015 5:42 pm

Longarm9 wrote:Also, document everything so certain higher ups don't have the option to try and shirk the blame. When it comes time to deal with the big shit sandwich, officers documenting everything will make sure the leadership has to eat their fair share.
I have some experience in dealing with changes to business processes that cause substantially more work. I would suggest that officers make sure to document the time it takes to complete a file, and track this on a spreadsheet. Then workout the cost for the adoption of this new policy and the impact it is having on the ability of the service to deal with its primary responsibilities (i.e. front line duties).

I wonder if they are making paper files, or if there is some database that may be used to develop intelligence in the future. Perhaps convince management it might be more efficient (and cost effective) to deliver some sort of online citizen reporting tool where citizens can report activities (like Toronto and Barrie for example) and if they request ask for follow up. And for those that are not so technically savvy have a clerk do the "intake" of the report and have a member follow up.

My experience with senior upper management in any organization, is that if you gripe about something without any statistics or support they view it as complaining about more work. On the other hand, if you can demonstrate the impact it can/does/will have on your operations you're more likely to be successful.

Again, I'm not a police officer, nor do I know the political pressure you senior management is under to deliver on this no call to small programme.
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gotchya
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Re: No Call Too Small Philosophy

Postby gotchya » Mon May 18, 2015 5:46 pm

Longarm9 wrote:
Punisher-One wrote:Always get everything in writing and if you think you may be screwed later print the emails and keep them in your safe at home.
Yep. And ATIP is your friend.
Provided of course they respond or give direction via email. I find that when things get "sticky" phone calls become the preferred form of communication. No ATIP, only a he said, she said remains.
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Dudley DoRight
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Re: No Call Too Small Philosophy

Postby Dudley DoRight » Mon May 18, 2015 11:35 pm

mack_silent wrote:An idea that may work. At my workplace we have a computer dispatch system with "activities" and "incidents".

"Activities" are entered by the dispatcher, categorized, and notes can be added quickly (in 30 seconds). They are great for tracking minor occurences.
If an occurence goes above something minor, then the dispatcher creates an "incident" (from the activity), the dispatch notes transfer, and a report is filled out by the person who responded.

So in the example of the cougar:
Time/date/location is entered by dispatch,
and categorized into "animal call",
then they can enter notes such as "rural area, no threat to public, transfered caller to wild life support".

This then saves time for frontline response staff.


Out here in this neck of the woods...our Cougars normally hang out at Country bars and drive BMW or Merc SUVs....highest Reg # prove!!! :)

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Re: No Call Too Small Philosophy

Postby TR » Wed May 20, 2015 5:23 pm

Our dispatchers send a car to all calls, unless they fall within an alternate reporting scheme (collision reporting, minor thefts, etc).

It is up to the responding officer how to determine the disposition of the call.


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