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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Working backwards from the police blotter to the radio record

Our local police blotter posts are about a week or two behind real time. Part of this is because they take a while to put together, and part of this is because they are published in a weekly. In any case, by the time you read it, it's long gone from the airwaves.

I saw one this week which looked interesting and troubling:

Driving Under the Influence
Location: El Camino/Main
Officer Gutierrez was driving eastbound when a motorist turned left turn in front of his marked police vehicle. A collision was unavoidable, but neither party sustained injury. The violator was found to be DUI.
Time 1618
Case Number 11-9100

That's an extract from the Santa Clara Weekly's most recent blotter posting. I wanted to know what that sort of thing sounds like on the radio and went digging into the archives.

For the benefit of those who haven't discovered the magic which is having their local police calls indexed and archived, here they are.

First, 406 calls in to report an event at a location but gets cut off. Dispatch gets the location but asks for the event again.

"TC city property" -- that's a traffic collision. Dispatch misses the very beginning of the call and doesn't realize what's happened yet.

Another unit did get it and clarifies: he had a crash. Dispatch gets this.

Dispatch runs the plate. It's not wanted for anything.

Another unit shows up and asks for a supervisor. Units talk to figure out who's available.

A couple of minutes later, a supervisor arrives on scene. The other unit is no longer needed.

A few minutes after that, as part of wrapping things up, the original unit calls for the case and time, probably to write a report.

Here it is: case 11-9100, time is 1618. Just like in the blotter post.

And that is how it is done.

These calls were extracted from my Super Trunking Scanner project.