Public Safety Screen Recording

Call Centers have long used screen recording to capture the activity on agents’ desktops and synchronize it with their telephone conversations. Due to the differences in commercial and Public Safety call centers, screen recording has been far less common in Public Safety. With the advent of Next Generation 911 and its requirements to capture text and photo communications, screen recording is suddenly very applicable to the Public Safety world. What considerations should you keep in mind while reviewing vendors who provide screen recording?

PSAP Functionality

If your vendor is not used to working with Public Safety, they may not realize how differently your center functions as compared to a Call Center. Agents in a Call Center typically receive a call; handle the issue; and then go on to the next call. In contrast, a 911 call taker may receive a 90-120 second call, but the CAD incident could continue for two or three hours, and involve multiple voice conversations. How will the recording system associate the screen and audio? Another key difference is the number of potential screens to record. A Call Center agent usually has one (at most, two) monitors for a single workstation. A 911 dispatcher or call taker has multiple computers and multiple monitors at his/her station. These might include the call taking station (with 911 software like Cassidian, Zetron, etc.); a radio console (e.g. Harris or Motorola); and a Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) station. Should your recording system capture all of these screens?

Maximizing the Screen Recording Investment

Some Public Safety Centers decide to record the call taker’s PC, synchronizing screens and audio, just as a Call Center would. If this screen is where text or photo-based information will be received, recording is important. If, however, your screen recording system integrates with the 911 equipment, only recording this screen may result in duplication of some information while other critical information could be missed. Recording the radio console screen presents a similar dilemma.
As Next Generation 911 standards become more finalized, we’ve found that fulltime recording of the CAD station(s) often presents the most benefit to the Public Safety Center. In this way, it’s possible to reconstruct the actions that were taken to send help and resolve incidents, even when no phone conversation is in progress. In addition to enabling more thorough incident reconstruction, this screen recording approach also supports troubleshooting CAD issues; facilitating training; and performing root cause analysis of events.

This tailored approach does require Public Safety-oriented discovery and may raise some additional questions. At Sound Communications, we’ve partnered with leaders in Public Safety Screen Recording to offer a choice of budget-friendly, Next Generation 911 solutions. Coupled with our 20 years of expertise in engineering Public Safety systems, we can help your agency be prepared for both NextGen 911 and beyond. To learn more, please call us at 1-800-556-8556 or schedule a FREE demo.