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The communication center is responsible for all telecommunication for the West Memphis Police Department, Criminal Justice Information system, and radio communication for all police, fire, and emergency medical services for the City of West Memphis. The center is staffed by dedicated and professional personnel 24 hours a day 7 days a week including all holidays to ensure that no call goes unanswered.
The center is equipped with a computer aided dispatch (CAD) and enhanced 911. The CAD system assists with the efficient handling of requests for emergency services. The system makes recommendation of service units to dispatch, taking into account the geographic location of the request and the availability of units.
Enhanced 911 provides the communication center personnel with immediate address and telephone information on the caller for quicker responses by emergency personnel. With recent updates to the system, operators are even able to triangulate cell phone calls between towers, sometimes detecting a location within feet of the phone.
When should you call 911?
- A serious medical emergency (chest pains, seizure, bleeding, etc.)
- Any type of fire (structure, vehicle, brush, etc.)
- Any crime in-progress (robbery, burglary, prowler, fight, etc.)
- Any other life threatening situation (traffic accident with injuries, etc.)
Things you should not call 911 for.
- Traffic accidents which do not involve injuries.
- Loud music or barking dogs.
- Late reported incidents such as a theft with no suspect information.
- Malfunctioning of a traffic light.
When you call 911 the operator will ask if your emergency is related to Police, Fire, or Medical. Even though your information is automatically furnished, you will be ask to verify your phone number and location since individuals often call 911 from locations other than where the incident is occurring. This information is even more crucial when calling from a cell phone. Although advancements in technology have come a long way, there are many natural or man-made factors which can interfere. You will also be asked a series of questions about the incident itself. You may feel that the questions are unreasonable and time consuming, but normally by this time a second operator has already gotten help on the way. The information derived from these questions is necessary to insure that the all of the needed resources are being sent, suspects are apprehended more quickly, and emergency workers have the safest working conditions possible.
If you call 911 by mistake, DO NOT HANG UP. Explain to the operator the error and that there is not an emergency. Hang-ups will result in the operator calling you back and/or police coming to your home or place of business to verify that there is no emergency.