Sometime yesterday, the primary NOPD dispatch system went down. Since then, all dispatchers have been forced to use hand-held radios, rather than their primary system with voice -activated hand-free mics. As a result, rather than being able to type at the speed of light (which is required to keep up with the dispatches), they are having to hold the radio in one hand, while typing with the other.
Since yesterday, ProjectNOLA NOPD scanner monitors have heard dispatchers repeatedly have to advise patrol officers that they needed to slow down when relaying information, as it was impossible for dispatchers to keep up. Frustration has obviously built up.
This is becoming a critical situation, as the NOPD communications is being hampered by the broken dispatch system. It has become very difficult for dispatchers to track officer's whereabouts (and sometimes impossible). It is creating a dangerous situation for police, and public.
We know that the dispatchers are using hand-held radios, as they have periodically advised officers that they had to stop transmitting/ receiving, as the dispatcher needed to change the batteries in their radio!!!
At current, the channel 3 dispatcher (who manages both the 3rd and 7th districts), is having trouble being understood over the air. A third district rank advised her about 30 minutes ago that they can barely hear her.
Earlier today, we took the steps to advise all City Council members of the issue. Also, I spoke with a channel 26 news editor who is trying to put together a story on the issue tonight at 10, should they be able to get additional information from NOPD.
At current, we have no idea how long this situation may last, or what NOPD communications / Admin is doing to resolve it. I understand that NOPD PIO office was not even aware of the issue.