The Post Falls Police Department’s 911 Dispatch Center is the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) for all 911 calls placed in the cities of Post Falls and Rathdrum. As the PSAP, the Communications Division has the responsibility to staff and answer incoming calls to the 911 center on a 24-hour basis. This includes administrative and 911 emergency calls for police, fire, and medical.
Dispatch consists of three shift supervisors and twelve emergency communications officers (ECO). The dispatch center operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Our dispatchers are the first responders when citizens call for help. They are a professional group of individuals, who do a tremendous job of answering calls for service in our community. ECOs receive incoming emergency and business calls, dispatch emergency personnel and equipment, and coordinate resources from individual departments and agencies. ECOs are a vital link between citizens and resources.
In 2019, our department was fortunate enough to upgrade our communications center. Our new communications center boasts 55 inch monitors which allow for a better workflow, new consoles, a large video wall, and new chairs. We are currently in the process of upgrading our radio system to allow for better interoperability with other agencies and expect that upgrade to go live later this year.
An ECO’s job can be very stressful. At their work station, ECOs monitor four computer screens, the License Plate Recognition (LPR) system, and live, local camera feeds. When they answer a 911 call, they have to make sure the person is calm enough to obtain immediate and specific information, and then effectively relay that information to responding police officers, units, and agencies. Their performance directly contributes to the safety and well-being of officers, citizens, and visitors to our community.
In addition, dispatch completes numerous tasks in support of personnel and enters information into our computer database such as citations, dispositions, pawn histories, crime analysis bulletins, arrest reports. ECOs also enter information into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database and Idaho Law Enforcement Telecommunications (ILET) systems such as missing persons and stolen vehicles.