The Hancock County Sheriff's Office Communication Center is staffed 24 hours per day, 365 days per year by professional dispatchers trained to handle emergency situations. Sgt. Cris Bell supervises 7 full-time dispatchers assigned to this area.
The Communications Officers receive all incoming calls on the main lines of the Sheriff's Office and all 911 calls on three separate telephone lines. There are generally two Communications Officers working together on one eight-hour shift.
When a call is received, the dispatcher records all pertinent information, then if necessary dispatches a patrol unit and any other emergency personnel. If a unit responds, the dispatcher documents everything that takes place, and completes any other requests made by the officer on the scene.
Typical requests might include running a vehicle registration, looking up a telephone number, making a warrant check, contacting the hospital and/or Life Flight, entering warrants, documenting stolen items and processing information for the courts.
The Communications Officers are responsible for incoming calls from the public as well as responding to the needs of Patrol units in the field. Dispatchers are effectively known as the "lifeline" to all patrol units in the field.