Communications

The Communications Division is commanded by the Communications Manager/911 Director.  The primary responsibilities of the Communications Division concerns the administration and operation of public safety communications and 911  services through telephone, radio, and computer information networks. 

Responsibilities
There are two platoons assigned to the Communications Division; a day and an evening platoon.  Each platoon is assigned a supervisor. Personnel answer and process emergency and non-emergency public safety calls.  Services are provided 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  The Communications Division provides police, fire, and EMS dispatching services and after hours utilities.

Dispatchers
When calling 911 or the Police Department for service, a professionally trained emergency dispatcher will answer your call. The enhanced 911 system has an automatic location identification and automatic number feature that provides the address and telephone information of the caller to the dispatcher.  If the caller is unable to speak, the dispatcher will dispatch public safety personnel to the address provided. 

When Making a Call
Callers asking for assistance or reporting a police, fire, or medical emergency should be prepared to answer a few questions.  First, the dispatcher will verify the address and phone number of the caller and the location information of the incident. The dispatcher on the call or their on duty partner will dispatch the appropriate responders.  Next, the dispatcher will ask specific questions regarding the incident you are reporting. The dispatch of response units is not delayed by the questioning process.  The questioning process assists the responders in preparing to deal with the current situation, so please follow these simple steps for reporting an incident or asking for assistance.
  • Answer all questions, even if you don't understand why they are asking
  • Don't hang up until instructed to do so
  • Listen and follow the directions of the dispatcher
  • Speak clearly
Tips
  • If in doubt about whether or not you have an emergency, call 911 and let us help you
  • Children should be taught how to give their address and telephone number information as well as how to provide their current location information
  • If you dial 911 by mistake, stay on the line until the dispatcher tells you it is okay to disconnect
  • Always call 911, not the non-emergency numbers, if you feel you have an emergency
  • Do not pre-program 911 into your telephone as this can cause dialing problems if the battery fails
  • 911 calls are free from your cell phone and from pay phones
  • If calling from a business, you may be required to dial 8 or 9 for an outside line before dialing 911
  • Remember, false or prank calls are against the law and endanger the lives of citizens, officers, fire, and medical personnel who respond.