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 8-14.
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.
“Every day in our communities, public safety telecommunicators preserve public safety by answering desperate calls for help, providing a vital link of services that we all rely upon to save lives and property,” 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 2011, telecommunicators answered 523,155 calls for service. Of these calls 219,433 were 911 emergency calls and 303,722 were received on the non-emergency lines. A total of 260,366 police and 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 311 or 727-8000, or to 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.