Communication Specialists perform a wide variety of office tasks. Their primary responsibilities are to act as call takers, receiving the phone calls from the public, both on the 911 enhanced lines as well as the normal business lines and entering the calls into the Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD). The call is then dispatched to the Officers.
In addition to these primary functions, the Communication Specialists also are responsible for the input and search for information on both the department computers as well as state and national computers. The one officer that is still assigned to the station allows persons that walk into the station to still speak to a Police Officer.
Recently, the department expanded their civilian communication specialists staffing to all the shifts. In the past dispatch has been staffed by 2 Officers and 1 civilian clerk. Now it is staffed by 2 Communication Specialists and 1 Officer.
The addition of civilian employees to work as Communication Specialists, allows the department to free up Officers that in the past have been tied up inside the station working these positions. This in turn places more Officers on the street to respond to calls. It also provides constancy in dispatch by providing the same people to work inside every day, instead of a person working inside once every 2 weeks.