Montgomery College launched a Public Safety Central Dispatch to streamline frontline communications. The dispatch will ensure faster response to calls on campus, ultimately enhancing the welfare of the College community—and campus public safety officers.
The College’s Public Safety Central Dispatch, housed in the Central Services Building in Rockville, opened in January. The new state-of-the-art facility is the hub of public safety calls and notifications for all campuses and satellite locations. Central Dispatch staff will communicate with officers at all locations and enable the campus public safety officers to speak directly with each other.
This new center replaces separate dispatch offices at the campuses and will improve response times.
“When someone calls Public Safety, they will receive an automated prompt to select the campus they are located on or would like to connect with,” said Adam Reid, Director of Public Safety, Health, and Emergency Management at MC. “When the caller selects a location, a dispatcher will respond, asking what service or assistance is needed.”
The dispatch will ensure faster response to calls on campus, ultimately enhancing the welfare of the College community—and campus public safety officers.
Reid said that depending on the nature of the request, the dispatcher will request a caller’s specific location on campus, name, and best contact number for follow-up purposes. At that point, the dispatcher will assign and radio an officer to respond and meet the person to provide assistance. If the caller is reporting an emergency, a dispatcher will ask a series of detailed questions to ascertain critical information and determine the level of response needed. Reid said dispatchers also provide instructions about what to do until help arrives.
The center’s staff members are professionally trained and designated dispatchers who will coordinate routine, urgent, and emergency situations. They will also monitor life safety systems, CCTV, and countywide emergency, and weather-related incidents. “We have a total of six full-time dispatchers allocated throughout shifts,” Reid said. “Typically, two to three dispatchers will work together on a shift.”
The center is open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Saturdays, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. When the center is closed, calls connect directly to the campus.
The integration of the enhanced countywide radio system ensures for direct connectivity. The launch of a new computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system, coupled with a new report management system, guarantees detailed, accurate reporting and tracking that aids in regulatory compliance requirements. The center will also function as an emergency communications command center in the event of a major emergency.
To reach Public Safety on any campus, please call 240-567-3333. Montgomery College students and employees can also sign up to receive MC Alerts.