The Oregon State Police Command Centers provide dispatch support to all state police activities across the state and represent the primary point of contact for state police resources. During the Department’s 16-year process of redefining the agency’s dispatch concept, these have evolved from 26 dispatch points to four regional centers to the present two command centers.
Northern Command Center Dispatch (Salem) (503) 375-3555
NCC Director – Richard Culley
The Northern Command Center (NCC) is located at the State of Oregon Armed Forces Reserve Center/Emergency Coordination Facility in Salem. The NCC supports State Police activities across 22 counties (Clatsop, Columbia, Tillamook, Washington, Yamhill, Polk, Lincoln, Benton, Multnomah, Clackamas, Marion, Linn, Lane, Hood River, Wasco, Jefferson, Deschutes, Sherman, Gilliam, Wheeler, Klamath and Crook), and interfaces with the 30 primary Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP’s) and nine secondary Public Safety Answering Points of this region.
Southern Command Center Dispatch (Central Point) (541) 776-6111
SCC Director – Bob Rector
The Southern Command Center (SCC) is co-located with the Southwest Region Headquarters/Central Point Area Command office in Central Point. The SCC supports State Police activities across 15 counties (Morrow, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, Grant, Baker, Malheur, Harney, Lake, Klamath, Jackson, Josephine, Curry, Coos, and Douglas), and interfaces with the 21 primary PSAP’s and eight secondary PSAP’s of the region.
Under the command of the Public Safety Services Division, both centers are managed by Directors and a complement of civilian Shift Supervisors. Technological, planning and logistical support is provided by the Command Center Support Unit located with NCC in Salem.
On average the centers received 414,695 calls for service and 406,082 traffic stops reported on the Oregon State Police (OSP) Computer Assisted Dispatch (CAD) system, the Northern Command Center handled 251,979 Calls for Service and 236,158 Traffic Stops. The Southern Command Center handled 162,716 Calls for Service and 169,923 Traffic Stops.
A “Traffic Stop” is the highly visible activity of detecting and stopping violators of the traffic code on Oregon’s freeways and secondary routes. “Calls for Service” represent everything else the Department does as a policing agency. Examples of these activities include removing hazardous or abandoned vehicles; rendering aid to stranded travelers; assisting other law enforcement or governmental agencies; investigating criminal activity; serving arrest warrants; detecting and recovering stolen property; intervening with impaired drivers; and, responding to incidents on state property (i.e. Capitol Mall, Correctional Institutions, State Parks).
The command centers have developed a large network of partnerships with federal, state, county, and city agencies. These partnerships vary in their scope from co-locating and sharing equipment with Oregon Department of Transportation to providing a higher level of officer safety for Oregon Department of Corrections Transport Units. Other partnerships include Bureau of Land Management, Washington State Patrol, California Highway Patrol, CALTRANS, and others.
Call Takers (TC-I)
Call takers are DPSST Certified Telecommunicators. They answer calls from the public, Primary and Secondary Public Safety Answering Points, courts, officers, tow companies, private businesses, others agencies, and many other sources. A call taker can receive a call for service from anywhere in the state and, by utilizing the geobase capability of the Computer Assisted Dispatch system, immediately direct the call for service to the appropriate center for service.
Typically, a call taker will answer telephone calls from all the geographical areas served by the command center plus several specialized toll free numbers, which cover broader geographical area, up to and including the Pacific Northwest. The call taker obtains specific information concerning the “who, what, why, when, and where” of each call for service. Once obtained, this information is entered into the OSP Computer-Assisted Dispatch (CAD) system. Once in Oregon State Police CAD, a numbered event is created and the incident is automatically prioritized based on previously set criteria.
Dispatchers are DPSST Certified Telecommunicators. A prioritized call for service is electronically “shipped” to the dispatcher for communication to the appropriate State Police personnel in the field. The OSP dispatcher generally monitors and is responsible for up to three, or more, state police radio frequency groups. The specific number of “units” under the control of a given dispatcher varies by time of day and day of week, the presence of “non-patrol” resources on the air and scheduling of special patrols by their respective area command. However, it is not uncommon for a dispatcher to have 20-30 patrols “on the console” at some times of day in some regions.
Supervisors are DPSST Certified Telecommunicators and complete DPSST’s Basic Supervisor Course as well as the State of Oregon CORE Program for Managers. They are civilian employees of the Department and are responsible for monitoring the flow of information through the centers, handling questions, problems, and unusual calls. They select, train and evaluate call takers and dispatchers and are responsible for liaison with the public safety communications centers in their region.
Supervisors maintain the flow of information between the field and other functions such as City and County agencies, Oregon Emergency Management (OEM), the State Fire Marshall, the AMBER Alert program, Criminal Justice Information Systems (CJIS), Crime Labs, and the Medical Examiners Office. These supervisors also act as a point of contact for administrative issues and as a conduit for information between OSP area commands, regions and General Headquarters.
The Command Center Support Unit is responsible for operational, administrative and logistical support to the command centers and provides operational communications support for special events. These functions include:
- Research and development
- Coordination of equipment purchasing and specifications
- Equipment maintenance contract administration
- Coordination of policies, rules and procedures
- Training for dispatch and other personnel using OSP CAD
- Maintenance and operation of specialized CAD and associated computer systems for “24/7” operations
- Search on request and reporting on all Calls-for-Service records and providing statistical reports/information and trend analysis in support of other divisions of the Department
- Operates the Department’s “Interoperable” mobile radio communications system
- Point of contact for the administration of notification systems relating to the AMBER Alert program
- lead role developing an updated records management system for the Department
The Command Center Support Unit interfaces with CJIS, Oregon Emergency Management, Oregon Department of Transportation and other appropriate organizations at the AFRC/ECF in Salem as well as other external customers of OSP dispatch services.