Silent dispatching works for EMS, but what about police?

Silent dispatching works for EMS, but what about police?
Man transported after boating accident. (Source: WOIO)

dispatchers can now send paramedics to calls without saying a word, so we looked at whether it could work for police.

Police dispatching is getting a hard look since an officer shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice. A police call taker apparently did not relay all of the information she had received from a 911 caller, before officers responded and ended up shooting the boy.

In silent dispatching, paramedics hear an alert over a computer telling them they have a call. The computer screen tells them where to go and the medical condition of the patient. Crews don't actually hear a voice from a dispatcher. Crews can just tap their screen and tell dispatchers when they have arrived at a scene or what hospital they're heading toward.

In the past, we've heard talk about something like this for

. But officers say it would not work for police. They can't be reading a computer while searching the streets for bad guys. Plus, officers want to hear where other calls are coming in just in case they have to help in a heartbeat.

Nonetheless, for EMS, it works.

"It's been standard for about six years for EMS," says Commissioner Nicole Carlton.

She points out dispatchers can send calls to several ambulances at once.
Another problem for police, though, would be that they would have to have a computer in every car. Many Cleveland Police cars do not have computers.

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