Since I came into the industry, I have heard a lot about redundancy; making sure that everything runs smoothly, service is consistent, nothing is down for long. At the center of these discussions has always been the latest technology that adds new levels to that redundancy. On the show floor at ISC West, I heard David Smith, director of marketing and communication for COPS Monitoring, talk about an entirely different kind—redundancy of people. This is the task of trying to find the same types of operators that mesh well with the company’s goals and requirements to ensure that service at one location doesn’t differ from that of another.
"Redundancy from a technological standpoint is much more straightforward than redundant staffing. Successfully replicating a training program and maintaining consistent performance levels across multiple sites is much more difficult to master,” he said.
This is an important consideration for a wide-spread company like COPS, Smith said, but having multiple locations helps. COPS has 350 dispatchers, and adding more. It would be difficult to find that many people who fit COPS’ bill in the same place. “We have a very strong company culture that permeates the entire organization.”
“Creating a unique, desirable workplace is part of the culture at COPS, and has proven to be of high value to our employees,” Smith said.
It's a little easier to find the best candidates when looking for operators in the surrounding areas of six different locations, he said.
“Qualifying someone as the ‘right person’ to be a successful dispatcher is determined by more than education, experience, and attitude: we believe that COPS dispatchers must also have the proper blend of professionalism, personality attributes, ability, and sense of duty,” he said.
In addition, the company is increasing dispatcher positions at its locations—30 positions in its Florida facility, with similar possible expansions at the Tennessee and Arizona centers as well.