Communications

COMMUNICATIONS

 

The 9-1-1 Communications Center of the Portales Police Department works 24/7 every day of the year to provide 9-1-1 call answering and public safety dispatch for all of Roosevelt County.

The communications floor is staffed by 10 Dispatchers. Dispatcher’s answer 9-1-1 and non-emergency calls and enter calls for service into a computer aided dispatch (CAD) system so that it can be dispatched to the appropriate public safety responders. The communications Department is also responsible for holding records for the Police Department, Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office and Eastern New Mexico University.

Dispatchers use the call information that was entered into the CAD and communicate via two-way radio to dispatch law enforcement, fire services, and emergency medical services personnel to the location of the emergency.

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Portales Police Communication is Fully Accredited

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 Dispatchers are trained to ask questions. It’s what we do! We attempt to get as much information as possible, as fast as possible, so responding units will be properly prepared and fully versed of the situation before they arrive!

For police / deputy related calls we need certain vital information from the reporting party: Address; reporting party's name; reporting party's phone number; nature of call; weapons involved; alcohol and / or drug use; description of assailant’s clothing, ethnicity, sex and assailant's current location. We will need to know if the assailant has left or is leaving the scene; if they are on foot or in a vehicle; if in a vehicle, a detailed description of the vehicle the assailant fled in including color, make and model (example: A Red Ford F150) and the license plate on the vehicle.

For ambulance calls we need certain critical information from the reporting party: Address of the incident; the reporting party's phone number; the age of patient and the chief complaint of the patient. The dispatcher will then begin to ask a series of critical questions that follow strict protocols required to assess the patients status. This is done so that ambulance personnel can bring all the necessary equipment to better assist their patients. Dispatching is a team effort! Most don’t realize that while the dispatcher is on the phone asking you all those questions, there is another dispatcher dispatching the emergency units to your location fully equipped with all the materials to help the patient in need. The faster you answer the questions the faster help will arrive and the better prepared they will be to assist you during the crises at hand!

911 WELFARE CHECKS

911 calls originate from all kinds of systems. Portales Police Communications supports all forms of 911 calls; including: Land lines (home or business), 911 calls originating from wireless devices (active or deactivated cellphones as long as they are still able to take a charge) and even VOIP calls originating from the Internet. Portales Police Communications often receives calls from people who call 911 but hang up before speaking to a Dispatcher. This can be because of a miss-dial or even people that are abusing the use of 911. Please remember, abuse of 911 is a High Court Misdemeanor that carries a $1000 fine and possible jail time. It is Portales Police Communications policy to conduct welfare checks and call the number back and try to make contact. This is done for a number of public safety reasons and it is extremely important that if you do mistakenly call 911 you stay on the line and talk with a Dispatcher before hanging up. Remember, 911 Dispatchers do not know what is happening on the other end of the line and have to assume it is an emergency unless the caller confirms otherwise. To ensure the safety of the citizens of Roosevelt County, if no contact is made when a Dispatcher calls back Portales Police Communications will often send a law enforcement officer to make sure the caller is not in a dangerous situation where they cannot communicate or are unable to speak. These 911 welfare checks are an important part of the centers commitment to the Public Safety of the citizens of Roosevelt County.

Enhanced 911 (E911)

Enhanced 911 (E911) is a set of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules designed to improve the effectiveness and reliability of wireless 911 services. Enhanced 911 provides 911 dispatchers with additional relevant information regarding wireless 911 calls. 

There are two phases of E911 cellular service: 

  • Phase I requires wireless carriers to submit the originating telephone number of a wireless 911 call to the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) as well as to submit the location of the cell site or the base station transmitting the call.
  • Phase II requires wireless carriers to submit to the PSAP more precise latitude and longitude coordinates. Depending on your cellular service provider, the latitude and longitude coordinates should be accurate to within 164 to 984 feet, as specified in the FCC accuracy standards. 

Portales Police Communications is equipped to receive Phase II cellular 9-1-1 calls.

Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD/TTY)

TDD is the acronym for Telecommunication Device for the Deaf. TTY is the acronym for Tele-Typewriter. These are devices with a keyboard input and printer or display output used by the hearing and speech impaired. These devices allow deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired individuals to communicate by actually typing messages. 

Any citizen with a hearing impairment can use a TDD/TTY device to communication with the Portales Police Communications 9-1-1 Center. Every 9-1-1 Call Taker and Dispatcher at Portales Police Communications have been trained on the proper use of a TDD/TTY. There is never any need to dial a separate number for TDD/TTY calls or to place these calls through a relay service. If you need help, just dial 9-1-1. Your call will be placed on the TDD/TTY and handled just like a call from someone without communication impairment. 

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