Garden Grove PD dispatchers sat hard at work on a recent afternoon at their brand-new, state-of-the-art work stations – one of several much-anticipated improvements in the agency’s Communications Division.
“Dispatch is a 24/7 operation and they were in desperate need of an upgrade,” said GGPD Capt. Ed Leiva.
Though the furniture and flooring upgrades began in early September 2017, Communications Manager Rebecca Meeks said planning began back in 2011.
The last remodel for dispatch was in 1999. Until recently, the 16 dispatchers still worked on first-generation large tube monitors that took up large amounts of desk space.
“We were holding up work stations with a trash can,” said Meeks.
Now they have eight stations – three radio and phone capable and five phone capable – equipped with controllers that can be used to move the desk from a sitting position, all the way up to standing.
“They have a fan on top of the desk and they have a heater under the desk,” Meeks said.
The old carpeting has been replaced with gray vinyl floors.
“It was hard to clean … you couldn’t even vacuum under the desks,” Leiva said, adding that there is now all-new wiring and data lines. “It was terrible.”
The new cabinets lining one of the walls were a team effort, according to Meeks. The dispatchers picked the gray paint to match the floors and painted the cabinets themselves.
The upgrade wasn’t without its trials, considering the entire dispatch team had to work out of the GGPD Command Post – essentially a motor home space – for two months.
“In that space, we had eight computers that threw off tremendous heat,” Meeks said. “It was rough.”
It was a tight space for four dispatchers at a time that couldn’t hold all the usual equipment they use.
“They didn’t have as many screens to do what they needed to do,” Meeks said.
But the payoffs of the upgrades are clearly showing now – with more on the way. According to Leiva, the goal is to turn an adjacent space into a lounge area for the dispatchers – “so they can decompress,” he said, during their intense workday.
“Rebecca’s [Meeks] been so patient through the entire process,” Leiva said. “It’s great to be able to provide a workplace of this quality. It’s the very least that we can do. This group works so hard.”
And as dispatchers settle into their new digs, another remodel is complete in the agency’s lobby and Records Division.
The construction, which began July 10, included the restroom, stairs, elevator and the second-floor lobby, in addition to the Records Division’s 2,522 and lobby’s 419 square feet.
Included in the remodel are two new interview rooms added to the lobby to increase privacy for crime reporting, and customer service kiosks for visitors to help streamline their police department visits.
Other improvements include the addition of bulletproof materials and glass at the front desk, updated surveillance and camera equipment, a small break room for employees, and new flooring and furniture.
Leiva said the upgrades also bring Records into compliance with the American with Disabilities Act and fire sprinklers up to current code.