CARE Services and Communications

The St. Louis County CARE System has revolutionized police report preparation and processing. CARE allows patrol officers to self-enter reports or via a standard phone to call a CARE specialist to complete an incident report from a crime scene in less than nine minutes. This service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The CARE specialist enters the report information into a sophisticated computer system while speaking with the officer, thus eliminating the need for a handwritten report or manual processing.

St. Louis County CARE offers the following advantages:

  • Allows more time for preventive patrol or increased on-scene investigation time by reducing report writing and notification requirements by over 60% (i.e., one phone call to CARE completes all report functions). By reducing the report writing time from an average of 23 minutes down to 9 minutes, more time is available for other duties. Officers can call their reports in from neighborhood businesses and not have to leave their assigned area or drive to the station. Departments also have the option for self-entry (also known as direct entry) of police reports. 
  • Police reports and management information are readily available.
  • Improved quality, accuracy and timeliness of crime analysis are improved because management reports are created through use of a centralized database with on-line user accessibility. Crime analysis information and associated management reports are readily available with up-to-date information. UCR reports are automatically tabulated and can be generated on a monthly basis.
  • A supervisor has the ability to immediately review a typed and printed CARE report at the station. The time required to review a CARE report is significantly less than a handwritten report.
  • CARE standardizes the review of reports, reducing errors and omissions which results in fewer reports being returned for correction.
  • Reduces officers' manual report writing frustration and stress. Also, less paperwork results in reduced overtime costs.
  • Reports are always legible and follow a standardized format to ensure all crime elements are contained. The Prosecuting Attorney's Office is a major supporter of the CARE system.
  • Each agency's CARE reports are secure and accessible only to themselves. Agencies on the CARE system are not authorized to view or print another department's reports but can send one of their reports electronically to any other agency on the system.
  • CARE eliminates the time needed to send copies of crime reports to the Record Room.

Communications Services

St. Louis County Police utilizes a fully computerized dispatch facility which is recognized as one of the most efficient and sophisticated centers in the Midwest. Besides having instant access to local, State and Federal criminal history files (REJIS, MULES, NCIC), Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) software is used to direct the closest available police units to all calls for service.
The St. Louis County Police Department is authorized to employ 81 professional staff with 24 hour supervision in its communications center to quickly handle citizens' calls for service.  This staffing level avoids delays which often occurs in agencies which staff only one or two employees  per shift. The St. Louis County Police Department communicates on an 800 MHz Digital Trunked radio system designed and built by Motorola.This radio system is a benefit to all public safety entities in the St. Louis region by increasing the level of interoperability between the City of St Louis, St. Charles and Jefferson Counties, the State of Missouri, Federal Law Enforcement agencies, and some public service agencies in Illinois.

St Louis County also operates the largest outdoor emergency warning siren system in the country, and is in the process of integrating Next Generation (NG) 911 into the 911 center. NG 911 has the ability to more accurately locate callers; and will eventually be capable of accepting text and video to the 911 software. 

A St. Louis County Police Communications contract offers the following advantages:

  • Decreased personnel costs, both direct and indirect (direct-salary, fringe benefits, etc; indirect-increase in street officer's time by not having to provide long/short term relief for dispatchers, i.e., meals, sick leave, vacation, etc.).
  • Staffing to handle major incidents or large call volumes. Twenty-four (24) hour supervision is provided, as well as immediate availability of a dispatcher to operate the Riot/Mutual Aid Channel when needed.
  • A new automatic call distribution system provides an average call answering time of emergency calls of 1.8 seconds.
  • Reduction or elimination of capital/operational costs presently being funneled into the operation of a communications center.
  • Minimal cost per call due to the sharing of costs among agencies.
  • Improved coordination with County and surrounding agencies due to channel sharing.
  • Elimination of personnel matters related to hiring, training, disciplining, etc. We comply with all OSHA, ADA and EEOC regulations.
  • On-going maintenance and repair of radio system included in contract cost.
  • Personnel dedicated to optimizing and updating radio system to meet changing environment and Department needs.
  • Sophisticated Computer Aided Dispatching system provides faster call processing time, elimination of routine paperwork and extensive management and statistical information.
  • CAD/911 databases updated on a daily basis to reflect new construction, streets, etc.
  • Information contained in the CAD system can be retrieved, displayed and printed for all incidents occurring within a specific jurisdiction and categorized in any manner.
  • A remote CAD terminal can be used for monitoring status of units, communicating with dispatcher and entering calls for service.
  • Each agency is able to design multiple dispatch plans for their city based on the number of on-duty personnel on each shift. This allows the Computer Aided Dispatch system to always recommend the proper beat car for assignments.
  • The Bureau of Communications hosts a Public Safety Dispatcher Training Academy.
  • The Bureau of Communications has a dedicated CAD specialist and a dedicated Quality Assurance Manager. 
  • The Bureau of Communications has earned "Accreditation with Excellence" from CALEA.