The Winston-Salem Police Department is recognizing the contributions of the men and women who work in the Public Safety Communications Center during its observance of National Telecommunicator Week, April 10-16.
The Winston-Salem Police Communications Division comprises 49 dedicated employees who serve the community around the clock, 365 days a year, said Police Chief Scott Cunningham.
"Telecommunicators provide a calm and reassuring voice at the other end of the telephone and help ensure the smooth operation of public services that affect the safety and health of our citizens," Cunningham said. "They are knowledgeable and highly trained individuals who make critical decisions, obtain and quickly disseminate information, and dispatch emergency and non-emergency calls for service."
During 2010, the Communications Center fielded 507,174 calls for service. Of these calls 214,279 were 911 emergency calls and 292,895 were received on the non-emergency lines. A total of 251,840 police and 24,942 fire calls were dispatched.
Citizens should call 911 only to report life-threatening emergencies or incidents involving substantial loss or damage of property, such as medical emergencies, fires, traffic accidents with injuries, fights or displays of weapons, and someone breaking into a house. When dialing 911 from a cellular phone, be sure to provide the address to the operator.
All non-emergency calls should be directed to CityLink at 727-8000 or the Police Department non-emergency line, 773-7700.
If 911 is dialed in error, callers should not hang up. Instead, make the communications operator aware of your error so that emergency units are not dispatched unnecessarily.
Winston-Salem Police Department web site