In the control room we spend our lives in a never-ending battle to reduce the number of jobs that we have to send officers to. How aggressive we are in doing that is often down to how much leeway & help we want to give our officers. More leeway to get on & do their thing, less jobs get done.
At any one time you might have between 10 &Ã‚Â 40 asignments on the box which need to be dealt with.
How many you can actually get rid of depends on how many troops you have to play with how complicated the jobs are. You have a whole range of jobs. A simple message for delivery might take 5 minutes including travelling time, while a person threatening suicide who ends up getting sectioned &Ã‚Â taken to hospital might take 8 hours or more.
The mythical ideal, as a controller, is to have no jobs.
I have never had no jobs, at any point during a shift, not even for a single minute.
I was present when one of the other divisions did have no jobs, for about an hour.
Earlier this week I came back after 2 rest days to find the division I had been working had just 8 jobs on the box. Three of those were deferred for later on the day. This was pretty much a record for me.
The day went Ok, we had a usual amount of jobs to do & managed to reach the end of the shift with a similar amount of jobs that we started. Good times. We had a reasonably full shift. Nobody scarfed off to do arrest enquiries or scene guards. Nobody doing endless reports from the days before & everyone available to be assigned; controller heaven.
I came back the next day & we had 7 jobs. Amazingly we didn’t have a run on new jobs handed over about 9.
When I came on the next day I was amazed to see that we only had 9 jobs again. Could I get away with handing over under 10 for the third da running?
No, was the resounding answer. Two police units scarfed off by one of the office-dwelling senior officers to do non frontline tick-box stat gathering & we were back up to nearly 30 jobs by the end of the shift. The follow-on will probably take days to resolve. The end of the shift was filled with ringing people back to apologise for our non-attendance. Bad times.