The University of Florida Police Department Communications Division is critical to the efficient functioning of UFPD. The Communications Division is staffed by Police Communications Operators (PCO) that are certified by the State of Florida Department of Health and Florida Department of Law Enforcement. All PCO’s are cross-trained as call-takers and dispatchers responsible for supporting, mobilizing and managing law enforcement and other public safety resources 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Call-takers primary responsibilities are answering and screening law, fire, medical or other emergency calls for services, recording essential information into a computer aided dispatch (CAD) system and transmitting information to a dispatcher.
Dispatchers primary responsibilities are to assign first responders to reported calls for service disseminating pertinent information and instructions to the closest resources.
Additionally, the Communications Division monitors all fire and security alarms, as well as emergency blue phones.
Law enforcement resources are tracked and managed by utilizing an 800 megahertz trunked radio system to communicate with members of the department and other local law enforcement agencies.
The Communications Division answered 55,654 telephone calls that resulted in 27,409 calls for active service during the fiscal year 2014-2015 and processed 87,497 Florida and national crime information inquiries during this same time period.
What can I expect when I call UFPD?
Briefly state the reason you called. A call-taker answers and obtains information regarding the emergency and quickly enters and transmits the information into a computer aided dispatch (CAD) system. A dispatcher immediately reads and disseminates information to first responders as the call-taker continues to obtain additional information. Examples of brief nature of incidents are:
“I hear shots fired.”
“I see a man with a gun.”
“I’m involved in a vehicle accident.”
“A building is on fire.”
“Someone is at my window.”
How can I help if I am reporting an actual emergency?
For the most expedient response, it is critical to know the address of the emergency. If the address, building name or number is unknown, know the cross streets or as much information about the location as possible.
Why is it necessary to answer so many questions from the Dispatcher?
The University of Florida Police Department appreciates and relies on conscientious members to report crimes in progress or just occurred, medical emergencies, suspicious persons, activities and behaviors. The Communications personnel are trained to ask specific, pertinent questions to quickly enter and disseminate useful information to ensure the safety of first responders and campus community. It’s important to note answering call-taker’s questions doesn’t impede law enforcement response. Answer questions to the best of your ability.
If the situation is dangerous, should I hang up the phone or remain on the line to answer more questions?
If you are calling from a safe location, be prepared to remain on the telephone to answer questions that provide first responders detailed information relevant to others safety and theirs such as weapon(s) involved, name(s), race, sex, age, height, weight, identifying scars, clothing description, vehicle description (color, make, model, license plate), direction of travel, mode of travel, and time lapse of person(s) involved. This information is critical and increase law enforcement chances of apprehending perpetrators. Follow the call-taker’s instructions and don’t hesitate to clarify ambiguous information.
If you have any further questions about the UFPD Communications Division, please contact Patricia Ford-Thomas, Communications Manager Monday-Friday, 8 am to 5 pm, at (352) 392-6995 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org