is one of the most important of the support services contained within police
departments. It is the division responsible for maintaining the vital link
between the public and the Police Officers in the field. Police
Communication Specialist, also known as a Dispatcher, handle many types of calls
and situations daily, from requests for information to emergency or critical
incident. The Dispatcher provides a necessary, indispensable function for the
public and the Police Officer alike.
At the Ashland
Police Department the Communications Division receives thousands of calls a
year. Many of these calls are simple requests for directions, phone
numbers and referrals that are handled directly by the Dispatcher, or referred
to other departments for assistance. Hundreds of other calls result in
"calls for service" which require either a Police Officers response or
other action which needs to be documented. The Dispatcher also receives
the incoming emergency calls of an emergency nature which require the
Dispatchers greatest skills, training and level-headed thinking to be
Police Officers in Ashland, the Dispatchers work a four day on, two day off
eight hour shift. There is one Dispatcher on duty at any given time of day
or night, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, and
three-hundred-sixty-five days a year.
Ashland there are two full-time Dispatchers and one part-time Dispatcher, all
of whom are CPR, First Responder and E911 certified.
Dispatcher Mark Byron
"When do I use
Whenever in doubt, call 911.
Your call to 911 will be
answered by a 911 Dispatcher who will ask the nature of your emergency. The 911
Dispatcher will verify your name, and the location you are calling about. To
gain as many details as quickly as possible, the 911 Dispatcher will ask many
questions, which are specifically utilized to obtain needed information so that
the appropriate emergency response can be dispatched to your location quickly
The 911 Dispatcher will
ask that you stay on the line. If you’re excited, they will try to calm you.
Your experience may involve a loved one, or be happening before your eyes, which
makes it doubly important for the 911 Dispatcher to be very deliberate and as
detailed as possible. We don’t see what you are seeing. Under traumatic
circumstances, you may assume we understand the situation.
The 911 Dispatcher is
entering your answers into a computer that has already identified the address
you are calling from through the "E-911" system. Often, at the same time,
that information is being read by the same or another Dispatcher and emergency
workers are being alerted and sent to your location before you’ve
completed your discussion with the 911 Dispatcher.