The Communications Section is a 24 hour operation, 365 days a year. Communications is the operations center of the Sheriff's Office. Dispatchers serve an active support role to all law enforcement divisions of the Sheriff's Office as well as liaison with other agencies and organizations. They are the focal point of all calls for service, whether by telephone or teletype or calls generated within the Sheriff's Office.
Dispatchers are state certified NLETS/TLETS operators and telecommunicators, and must maintain their state mandated training to comply with certification.
Dispatchers are civilians. Their supervisor is a Sergeant who holds a Texas Peace Officer License. The Communications Section is part of the Special Services Division.
The Communications Section is the lifeline of law enforcement operations in the Sheriff’s Office. All incoming emergency calls as well as all calls for service are directed to the Communications Section. Dispatchers are responsible for dispatching units to those calls and responding to requests from the units for information or additional assistance, such as ambulance, DPS, wrecker, fire department, etc. The dispatchers are responsible for keeping records and logs of all calls and preparing detailed reports for calls they receive.
The dispatchers are trained to carefully question each caller to determine the nature, exact location and seriousness of each call. When enough information has been obtained, the information is immediately communicated to uniformed or supervisory personnel, who quickly determine the priority of the incident, the kind and number of responders needed and the nearest resources. During the incident, dispatchers monitor the status of each unit on the scene for the safety of responders.
Dispatchers are responsible for validation of records entered into state and national databases, such as stolen property, missing people, wanted persons, etc. Two hundred to three hundred records are validated each month until the person/property, etc. is located/returned. In addition, dispatchers are responsible for confirming warrant information to other agencies nation-wide.
In 2006, there were 14,682 calls for service dispatched by the Communications Section. They answer an average of 7300 calls from the public monthly. On July 4th, 2006 the Sheriff’s Office took 432 calls from the public. Not all calls require dispatching a responder.
Dispatchers also answer 911 calls. Though intended for emergencies only, some people call 911 to report their chickens missing or inquire how long to leave their turkey in the oven at 350 degrees, potentially preventing a legitimate emergency call from getting through.
PLEASE USE 911 FOR EMERGENCY CALLS ONLY!!!!