The Lake County 911 Dispatcher/Corrections Officers not only answer 911 calls, but they make Initial Complaint Reports (ICR's), take messages for officers, enter warrants, and perform background checks for other agencies. All Dispatchers are cross-trained to perform all functions of the Lake County Jail.
Our communications staff currently dispatches not only for Lake County, but also for the cities of Silver Bay and Two Harbors. They are also responsible for the E911 system and the paging for all of the EMS systems (ambulance, fire, and rescue) in Lake County as well as Alden Township in St. Louis County.
In October 2007, Lake County Dispatch switched from using a records program to using a dispatch program called Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD).
CAD allows us to track officers by setting an automatic timer when they go out on calls, making them safer. CAD is also able to generate reports which allow the Sheriff and Sergeants to view call volume patterns within the county. It allows the Sheriff to assign deputies to cover areas more efficiently. CAD also generates a report by call type which allows the Sheriff and Chief of Police to more accurately provide training to their officers.
CAD gives unit recommendations for law enforcement, ambulance, rescue, and fire based on location and type of call, allowing the dispatcher to be able to dispatch the appropriate responding agencies faster.
CAD assists the dispatcher in allowing them to do their jobs more effectively and efficiently. As efficient and helpful as CAD is, it doesn’t take the place of our dispatchers and their experience and training. CAD is a tool we use to make their jobs better but it will never be able to replace their common sense when dispatching in an emergency in Lake County.