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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The "Rest" of the 911 Story

Marianna Police Dispatch Protects Citizens of the City
By Sid Riley

Last week we published a story which told of the great job our dispatch center at the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office is doing in providing 911 emergency response throughout the county. After reading this story, someone e-mailed me questioning why I had not also told the story of the great job being done by the 911 dispatchers who work for the Marianna Police Department.
Located in the front reception area of the Marianna Police Department facility, this group of dedicated dispatchers and officers are standing by in case a citizen of the city needs help. It is a 24-7 service which is always there serving the people.
When a person first makes a 911 call, it will ring at the dispatch center in the Sheriff’s office. If the call is originating from inside the Marianna city limits, a "hot transfer" will automatically be made to the Marianna Police Office dispatch room. The city dispatchers can activate the city fire department response, or they can contact county fire and rescue for ambulance requirements, or they can dispatch a city patrol vehicle to the scene. These acts are all performed within a matter of seconds….and help is on its way!
The dispatch room also maintains radio contact with city patrol officers in the field, answers all incoming routine calls to the department, and provides 911 response actions. Every morning the dispatchers call between 80 to 100 elderly citizens in the city who are enrolled in the "Police Care" system. This system assures these elderly citizens are ok each morning. If they do not answer the call, a patrol officer is dispatched to their home to investigate the situation. This service has saved many lives…right here in our community.
The center is normally staffed by five dispatchers who work four days on, two days off on an eight hour shift basis. At present there are only four dispatchers employed. The unit is supervised by Sgt. Irene Williams and Lieutenant Francis Pavis.
The dispatch staff includes:
Stephanie Miller, William McDowell, Francis Yon, and Pierre Rhodes
The citizens of Marianna owe all of these public servants a debt of gratitude for the role they are playing in making the Marianna community a safe place to live.

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