Watson Consoles Blog

Jul 17, 2018 Project Profile

Snohomish County 911 (Project Profile)

Snohomish County 911 (project profile) 911 dispatch console workstationEach day Snohomish County 911 handles approximately 1800 police, fire and medical-response calls from their 32-position consolidated PSAP. Two agencies, SNOCOM and SNOPAC, merged in January 2018. To promote unification and cross-team communication, Snohomish made changes to the physical environment. Learn why Watson Consoles is part of their solution.

Easing change 

Consolidation is not easy. It requires a change of location (for at least one team), centralizing technology, and blending agency cultures. And, it can take several months to complete which can be stressful on dispatch teams. 

As part of the consolidation, Snohomish County 911 identifies two notable challenges they hope to overcome: 1) they need to add positions to an existing space and 2) they want to create a neutral and welcoming environment for both teams. 

Snohomish 911 consolidation includes refreshed center featuring 32 Watson Consoles 911 dispatch work stations.

a new team space boosts dispatcher satisfaction

As part of the consolidation project, Snohomish County 911  officials decide to replace the PSAP's 17-year-old console workstations.

Snohomish wants every dispatcher to benefit from working at durable, functional workstations and they know that providing the right tools for the job, including dispatcher workstations, will promote fairness and equality amongst the cross-functional team. 

The Ask

New dispatch furniture should deliver multiple benefits:

  • a visually unified, modern, and welcoming work environment;
  • improved traffic flow throughout the space;
  • more positions in the existing space;
  • open sight lines for better cross-communication between police and fire comm teams;
  • upgraded tech integration to reduce wear and tear on cables and equipment;
  • and quiet, efficient mechanical support and electronics to reduce the distraction of slow and noisy mechanisms.
    A new team space and the right console workstation for the job boosts dispatch satisfaction


After reviewing options from multiple manufacturers, the team chooses Watson Consoles’ Mercury workstations. Their selection is based on several critical factors.

  • Mercury’s linear design makes best use of space, improving general traffic flow while accommodating the addition of multiple positions.
  • The feature-rich workstations give dispatchers focus and comfort features including quiet, quick-adjust height adjustment, cool air flow and personal heater.
  • Expanded work areas make side-by side training more comfortable.
  • Cable channels, chains and pass-throughs keep power and video cables neat and protected.
  • There is plenty of stowage for ancillary communications equipment and personal items.
  • Watson Consoles offered the best value – product durability, features, cost.

This furniture brought us into the 21st century! 

Dispatchers like that the work station is spacious. Raising the surface is now fast and quiet.  And the acrylic at the top of the panel opens sight lines. 
– Hattie Schweitzer, Operations Manager

Schweitzer shares that having a cohesive interior eased some of the discomfort associated with the consolidation - it is cleaner, brighter and each dispatcher can adjust their work space for maximum comfort. 

Snohomish County dispatcher seated at Watson Consoles' Mercury work station

Opportunity to INFLUENCE

A unique benefit to working with Watson is that they 
listen to customer feedback and incorparate change. 
- Karl Christian, Operations Manager

On a visit to the Watson Consoles factory, Snohomish County suggests fine-tuning workstation details to improve the user experience. Watson’s product development team integrates the feedback in real-time. The meaningful engagement with Christian, and team, results in an improvement to Mercury’s tackable panel silhouette and the addition of acrylic as an upper-panel option - two features that now benefit all Mercury customers.

Dispatchers and IT techs influence Watson Consoles design.

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Learn More

To learn more about the Snohomish County 911 team, visit their website.

Visit the Watson products page to discover why Mercury might be just what your communications' center needs. And if you are in the research phase of a project, be sure to check out these resources: