Professionals in the security industry have experienced the benefits of modern security dispatching software for decades. The technology continues to increase the ability of organizations to provide for their client’s security needs. Dispatching software designed specifically for the unique security function combines with records management systems (RMS) and mobile technology to best equip providers for the challenges of 21st-century security.
Call for Service Quality Enhancement with Security Dispatching Software
Computer-aided dispatching (CAD) software is designed to work as a complement to the traditional yet quickly evolving technology of the two-way radio. Verbal communications and the emergency button feature of modern handheld radios continue to have an important role in the security field. CAD has improved the radio’s function by removing unnecessary transmissions and converting them to efficient computerized communications.
For instance, before the widespread use of CAD by security professionals, calls for service were dispatched solely over the two-way radio. For cases in which the need for back up officers or supervisors became apparent, it was not uncommon for the location and call details to be repeated several times to ensure everyone knew the necessary specifics of the call. This often proved problematic when the initial officer needed to either transmit or receive vital information without delay. In the event the officer required immediate assistance, having unnecessary and repetitive transmissions could delay the call for help.
Modern CAD systems and their mobile components help alleviate unneeded and redundant radio transmission. Instead, vital information about a call for service or other incident reaches everyone with CAD access at the same time. Dispatchers, filed officers, supervisors, and other authorized personnel can exchange information in real-time, including important updates. Rather than having to use the radio to repeat key pieces of intelligence such as vehicle or subject descriptions, gate or alarm codes, or other details about an incident, those needing the information can quickly find it through the integrated CAD system.
CAD’s Benefit Beyond the Security Team
While CAD has dramatically improved the security provider’s ability to remain self-sufficient, there are times in which other entities are needed to address an issue. In these instances, CAD’s value continues to be observed as both internal and external partners to the security provider will find it advantageous. Depending on the security company’s structure and the assets being protected, internal partners are usually considered those managed by the same company or under contract with the same client. For instance, the maintenance section, human resources office, or resident/tenant liaison are often included in the internal partners category.
Consider this example: While on a guard tour, an officer finds a home that appears to have an unsecured gate into the backyard. A quick check of CAD reveals the homeowner is out of town for several weeks. A perimeter check is conducted as policy dictates, and nothing else about the scene appears suspicious. Although the gate cannot be locked without a key, the officer is able to close it, take a photograph, and make an entry in the CAD notes section. The listing will alert the next shift to increase patrols of the area until a key holder can be reached. Additionally, the CAD note will be forwarded to the tenant liaison to ensure notification of the homeowner.
Common external partners to security providers can include local law enforcement along with fire and EMS. Often, members of a community that are served by a security provider will contact the company’s operations center to report an incident. While 911 remains the best method to reach first responders for an emergency, security officers are often personally known to the residents and frequently resolve many non-emergency matters.
When an incident requires the inclusion of an external partner, CAD’s benefits can once again improve safety and service. Expanding on the previous example of an unsecured residential gate found during a guard tour, the incident may require law enforcement intervention. If the officer observes other evidence of an apparent burglary, he or she will likely notify the security dispatch center and request a response from the local police department. Utilizing CAD and the officer’s mobile technology, the dispatcher can provide the 911 call taker with not only the physical address, but a layout of the home, any necessary alarm or gate codes, photographs of the scene if taken by the officer, and a host of additional information that may not be available or as easily relayed without a modern CAD system.
Information Sharing and Preservation in CAD
Perhaps one of CAD’s most productivity-enhancing features is the ability to exchange information. This benefit happens not only in real-time during an incident but also in preserving historical data for as long as it is needed. Additionally, when combined with a records management system, CAD’s archival abilities means an increase in productivity and safety.
Experienced security professionals may remember the decades’ old process of writing notes on a clipboard to pass information on to the next shift of officers. Modern CAD systems have eliminated this inefficient process and added mobile technology to allow the exchange of vital information regardless of location. CAD’s activity log feature also provides security company administrators with details about call for service volume, response times, incident details, and other information relevant to overall operation evaluation.
Finally, the security provider’s client also benefits from CAD and its information management abilities. Activity logs and other data within the CAD system can help in determining the need for expanded coverage, both geographically and in terms of security personnel. Budgeting considerations can be proposed with greater accuracy when information from CAD is included. Ultimately, CAD’s benefits can play a role in nearly all aspects of the professional security industry.