PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 18

1960s: CIVILIANS IN THE
COMM CENTER AND THE
CREATION OF BASIC 9-1-1

Radio circa late 1940s-early 1950s Photo:
Geoffrey Fors Collection, Monterey, California.

taken in 1957, though. It was not until 1967
when the president's Commission on Law
Enforcement and Administration of Justice
recommended that a "single number" be
established for reporting emergencies.

Many important strides were made in
public safety during the 1960s. In 1967,
APCO's "Project 2," the creation of the
Public Safety Standard Operating Procedures
Manual, was an integral turning point: "The
use of standardized procedures meant it was
no longer necessary to have a sworn officer at every position in the comm center
and eventually led to the creation of the
entity we now call a telecommunicator."
(Via apcointl.org/projects)

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1

24/03/17 6:53 pm

Perhaps the most notable milestone of
this decade was the creation of the unifying
national three-digit emergency number -
9-1-1 - to call in the event of a police, fire
or medical emergency. In 1968 the first 9-1-1
call was made from Haleyville, Alabama.
The changeover to 9-1-1 did not take place
the same day or even the same year in the
United States; it took place over a period of
several years and, for some agencies, one to
three decades after that first call.
1970s: TELETYPE, REEL-TO-REEL
RECORDING AND THE BEGINNING
OF COMPUTER USAGE

I (C.J.) began my career in May 1977 with
the Maryland-National Capital Park Police,
Montgomery County Division. Every morning, the clerk had to walk out of our small,
two-person max, comm center (about 6' x
15'), turn right and walk down the hall about
twenty-five feet to the room where the MCPD
teletype unit stood. There was a legal-sized
sheet of paper in the telecom with the daily
"hot sheet" of wanted persons, stolen cars,
brief BOLOs and the listed color code of the
day, used to access any other confidential
crime-related information, such as criminal
history, from MCPD.
All of the emergency phone lines and
police radio traffic were recorded on a 10 1/2"
reel-to-reel, piggyback, dual deck Dictaphone
tape recorder. At 2359 hours, the midnight
duty clerk would have to manually switch
over to the deck that was not in use, and
shortly after 0000, switch off the previous
day's 24-hour deck. You did it a minute or
so early in each case, just in case there was
a problem in the changeover. We kept paper
radio logs, paper telephone logs, paper alarm
logs and paper calls for service and reported
incident logs, all with black, not blue, pen
for posterity.
Our new technology was a MILES/
NLETS/FBI-NCIC computer; when I started,
it had been in use for about a year. But at that
time, there was no monitor screen - only
a keyboard to work with - so no format
screens with computer-generated fields to
fill. You had to not only type and fill fields
with your data, you had to type specific codes
that stood for the fields - and then fill in
your data with periods and commas that the
computer interpreted as field beginnings and
endings, as well.
This all had to be done without error
(an expectation that hasn't changed in our


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PSC - May/June 2017 Issue

President’s Channel
On Scene
Public Safety Communications Systems: The Future Is Smart
Evolution of the PSAP
E-Comm: A Model for Consolidated Emergency Communications and Public Safety Support
The Dos and Don’ts of Designing Your Communications Center on a Budget
When Germs Attack – Help Your PSAP Fight Back
How a Scheduling System Can Save Your Sanity
Advances in Quality Assurance and Improvement Software
9-1-1, Show Us Your Emergency
High Performance CPR & CDE Exam
Managing Peers in the PSAP & CDE Exam
Direct Channel With APCO
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - Intro
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - cover1
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - cover2
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 3
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 4
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 5
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 6
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 7
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 8
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 9
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - President’s Channel
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - On Scene
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 12
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 13
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - Public Safety Communications Systems: The Future Is Smart
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 15
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - Evolution of the PSAP
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 17
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 18
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 19
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - E-Comm: A Model for Consolidated Emergency Communications and Public Safety Support
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 21
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - The Dos and Don’ts of Designing Your Communications Center on a Budget
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 23
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - When Germs Attack – Help Your PSAP Fight Back
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 25
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 26
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 27
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 28
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 29
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - How a Scheduling System Can Save Your Sanity
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 31
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - Advances in Quality Assurance and Improvement Software
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 33
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 34
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 35
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 9-1-1, Show Us Your Emergency
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 37
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 38
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 39
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - High Performance CPR & CDE Exam
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 41
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 42
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 43
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - Managing Peers in the PSAP & CDE Exam
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 45
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 46
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 47
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 48
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 49
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - Direct Channel With APCO
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - cover3
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - cover4
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