Communications

The Communications Unit is a vital part of Mount Dora’s public safety department. Typically, communications officers are the first point of contact when citizens request police, fire or medical services.

The unit is staffed with eight full-time Communications Officers, including a lead dispatcher, who work rotating twelve-hour shifts. Two communications officers are on duty twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

Prior to becoming employed as a Communications Officer, each employee must successfully complete a battery of tests that include a complete background investigation, a physical, and a polygraph examination. Employees are also certified to operate the state computer system, FCIC/NCIC (Florida Crime Information Center/National Crime Information Center). Since 2012, new communication officers are required to pass a state licensing exam.
The Mount Dora Communications Unit provides many direct and indirect services to Mount Dora residents, visitors, and other city departments.

Traditional Police Dispatch Services


  • Answer all 911 calls, police, fire, medical
  • 2000 –3600 per year
  • 2011 –5500 per year
  • Answer 6 non-emergency phone lines
    • 26,000 – external inbound
    • 8,000 - outbound
    • 7,300 - internal inbound
  • Calls for service dispatched
    • 2000 –17,500 per year
    • 2010 –25,000 calls per year
    • 2011 – 29,226 including:
      • 5000-6000 officer-initiated traffic stops
      • 1000s of officer well-being checks
        • Assorted critical functions:
    • FCIC/NCIC and local data bases for warrants and advisories
    • DAVID for driver license status
    • DHSMV for vehicle tags
    • Activations of Silver and Amber Alerts
    • Administrative assistance to patrol officers: phone calls, notifications, warrant confirmations, checking maps, etc.
    • FCIC/NCIC entry of stolen/lost property including vehicles and firearms
    • Tracking repossessions and tow logs
    • Emergency notifications including: detectives, traffic homicide investigators, chaplains, chain of command personnel, command staff, and evidence technicians

Additional Comprehensive Responsibilities of MDPD Communications

Dispatch

· Administrative assistance to patrol officers: report research, phone calls, notifications, location verifications, copying, faxing, building maintenance, etc.
· Tracking false alarm calls
· Noise ordinance warning and citation records
· Trespass warnings and violation log
· Filing injunctions, trespass warnings, and garage sale permits
· Safety refuge
· Domestic violence
· “Safeplace” infant drop
  • Help desk and city switchboard, 24/7, weekends, holidays, etc.
    • Access to Police and Fire Department personnel
    • Routine community inquiries and questions
    • Special event questions
    • Visitor information
    • Directions
    • Storm information
    • Traffic and street closures
    • Senior citizen outreach
· Ruthie Watson Park video monitoring
· City building alarm monitoring
· Library
· City Hall
· City annex
· Community Building
· Property/Evidence building
· Martin Luther King Center
· CareHere
· Donnelly Park building
Communications
· Police Building Security § Video monitoring of entire building and parking lots
§ Computer controlled building access system
§ all outside doors
§ critical inside doors
· Remote controlled prisoner Sallyport gates
· Holding cell prisoner monitoring
· Booking area employee security
· Walk-in service
· 2000 citizen walk-ins per year
· Parks and recreation facility sign-out and return of keys
· Utility payments and weekend turn-on service
· Utility trouble reporting and weekend dispatching - 24/7
· Rapid data capturing and retrieval through CAD including:
    • 911 call retrieval
    • Routine complaint information
    • Patrol activity
    • Call and Crime patterns
    • Response time analysis
    • Complaint Call retrieval
    • Traffic stop profiling data
  • Extra watch coordination (for residents on vacation, out of town, etc.)
  • Lost and found coordination, (pets are common)
  • Bicycle Registration coordination (common on weekends, significantly increases during holidays)
  • Animal control complaints
  • Special event personnel monitoring and CJIS services provision
Dispatch


 
In 2001, the center was completely renovated. New workstations, radio consoles, telephones, Dictaphone, ergonomically correct chairs, and flat screen computer monitors were added with money from the Lake County 9-1-1 Funds. In 2006, the department was completely renovated and the unit was restructured to meet various disaster codes. In 2009, the unit became part of the county-wide public safety radio system which, for the first, time gives Mount Dora the ability to converse with all public safety professionals (Law Enforcement, Fire, and Ambulance) on a local, state, and national basis. The center annually handles approximately 5,500 9-1-1 calls and 29,000 non-emergency calls.