University of Houston’s Police Dispatch

The University of Houston Department of Public Safety has its own dispatch center. The campus community often sees the police officers, security officers and parking enforcement assistants working out in the field and serving the campus community. The one group of individuals you may never see are the University of Houston Police Dispatchers. When you call the University of Houston Police Department, 713-743-3333, you will always hear the voice of a police dispatcher.

The majority of the calls are simple calls for service; door unlocks, money transfers and escorts. When a call comes into Dispatch, they try to get as much information as possible from the caller, assess the situation, determine the level of the response, dispatch the appropriate personnel and then monitor radio traffic for the safety and security of all personnel involved. All this has to happen in a matter of seconds.

Dispatchers are also responsible for reporting caller information. Along with the police reporting system, they must also know and operate the state and national criminal information systems. Coordinating responses is not easy and takes a special skill set. To say that a Dispatcher needs to be a multi-tasker would be putting it lightly. They operate a variety of police systems, including the emergency sirens, fire alarms, and a multitude of computers. Each dispatcher is required to complete a state mandated certification program. Basic certification includes a minimum of one year as a dispatcher and the completion of 40 hours of the basic telecommunications course.

There are 7 police dispatchers working 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Last year they answered approximately 300,000 telephone calls. Out of those calls, 80,616 required additional responses. Also last year, they handled 1,856 door unlocks, 16,251 special service requests, and 1,411 fire alarm calls. They also handle radio and telephone calls related to offenses, arrests, traffic accidents, traffic stops and medical assistance. To say the least, their days are full. The comforting thing to remember is that when you call the University of Houston Police Department, someone will always answer your call and that someone is a University of Houston Police Dispatcher.