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Old-school police officers can recount the days of the desk sergeant sitting with his feet up, waiting for the phone to ring and putting out calls over the one button radio. Dispatching was simpler back then. As societal norms have grown more complex, the role and technology of first responders has matched the pace. Public safety call center technology has progressed incredibly far, allowing quicker response times and more accuracy. Technology advancement has improved nearly every aspect of dispatching. As systems advance, they have become more complex. Within the scope of modern emergency communications technology, foremost in the mind of call center administrators are systems like NG911, Firstnet, CAD and other high-end public safety management software.

history of 911

Extending the life of your technology

Modern technology provides dispatchers access to innovative and streamlined processes, allowing them to quickly respond and convey information efficiently. Housing and protecting these critical systems, within useful reach of the dispatcher and IT tech, is imperative.

The role of the dispatcher desk in technology integration

Public safety management and communications systems are vital to smooth operations in dispatch centers today, and it is necessary to focus on integration of these tools into the dispatcher's station. Combining technology into the dispatcher desk should be streamlined and efficient. While sometimes an afterthought, high quality dispatcher desk designs help extend the life of technology investments.

As dispatch centers handle more convoluted situations and responses, they are supported by consolidation of devices and changing user interfaces. Dispatch centers should include operational configuration, floor plan, and emerging technology integration when considering design and deployment of dedicated dispatcher consoles. A properly designed console will revolutionize the way your control room operates.

Best-in-class tech integration features

Modern consoles eliminate the complexity of managing a cluttered dispatch console configuration. Accordingly, consoles support the space required to house PCs, radio consoles, microphones, other communications equipment, monitors, keyboards and additional storage.


The best dispatcher desks provide a modular structure with the ability to efficiently manage cables running to work surface-mounted devices with separated partitioned wire management channels. Maintaining clean and dedicated power and video cable runs mitigates interference, strain and damage.

Technology Support Check List for the Modern 911 Dispatcher Desk

  • Separate power circuits:
    • work station - main power, height-adjustment, comfort controls
    • integrated communications equipment - PCs, monitors, radio, CAD, etc.
  • Grounding
  • UL Certification for electrical and user safety
  • Dedicated cable channels with strain relief:
    • power
    • video
  • Cooled technology cabinets
  • Convenience power and data ports
  • Storage and /or mounting for equipment standards (e.g. Motorola's MCC7500)
  • Easy tech maintenance access
tech details

Rounding out your dispatcher desk selection

Dispatch consoles that fulfill the needs of both the communications center and the dispatcher will lower the cost of ownership over time by supporting staff retention, providing energy-efficiency, increasing user safety, and accommodating evolving technology.

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A dynamic console solution must meet the day-to-day rigorous demands of the public safety communication center. This requires incorporating ergonomics and human factors considerations, innovative modular design, easily reconfigurable structure - all within a durable structure.

The dispatchers' desk should also include user-controlled lighting options as well as individually placed and adjustable heating and cooling technology to keep users comfortable and focused to leverage the agency's communications systems investment. Learn more about the ways the right-fit dispatcher desk can ease user pain points.

smiling operator standing

Your team deals with emergencies all day, and the work station should support and empower dispatchers to do what they do best. This is why it is important to consider technology integration along with ergonomics, storage, floor plan, and the flexibility to reconfigure when building or remodeling your dispatch center.

For more resources about dispatch products, PSAP technology, and team culture explore these Dispatch Resources.

About the Author

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Jeremy Jesenovec

As a military veteran with more than two decades in law enforcement, including command experience, I’ve acquired knowledge and insights into the law enforcement and public safety industries. I have a thorough understanding of the strategies, concepts, systems and processes in law enforcement and I recognize the industry challenges related to reforms, technology, and governance. Connect on LinkedIn.

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