Dispatch

The dispatch center operates with one dispatch supervisor and six dispatchers. The dispatch center is responsible for answering calls for service and dispatching officers to those calls.

The Palestine Police Department’s Dispatch is the primary answering point for non emergency and 9-1-1 emergency calls made in Palestine. 

Dispatch operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is staffed by a Dispatch Supervisor and six dispatchers. Our dispatch center accepts text to 9-1-1 in cases of emergencies when a phone call can’t be made.

Dispatch serves as a direct link between reporting parties and officers in the field. The dispatchers screen and evaluate calls for service and provide support for all field operations.

 


 

Cell Phone Users

 

When calling 9-1-1 from your cell phone, be prepared to state:

  • The LOCATION of the emergency (MOST IMPORTANT),
  • Your cell phone number (including area code),
  • The nature of the emergency.

This information is essential to providing emergency help and vital in the event of signal interference or, if for some reason your call is prematurely disconnected.

Become familiar with the features of your cell phone, especially the “key lock” feature which prevents accidental dialing.

Many 9-1-1 calls we receive from cell phones are the result of accidental dialing. Processing these calls can delay help for real emergencies. Accidental dialing often occurs when people sit down on their cell phones placed in their back pockets, causing them to inadvertently dial 9-1-1. This can also occur when cell phones are stored carelessly in other places (e.g. purses, strollers, waistbands).

Using your cell phone while driving can be dangerous. Whenever possible and safe to do so, pull over and park your car in a safe area before using your cell phone.

Don’t place yourself in harm’s way!

Calls placed to 9-1-1 have helped to save many lives. This is due, in part, to callers taking the time to report emergencies. Be careful, however, not to place yourself in harm’s way when reporting crimes in progress and other dangerous situations.


 

What You Need to Know About 911

  • 911 is a three-digit telephone number that you can call 24 hours a day for fire or medical emergencies
  • 911 should only be used for life-threatening emergencies or in-progress calls, where there is an immediate threat to life or property
  • When you call 911 from a landline, your address, telephone number and billing name is automatically displayed on our phone system; however, we will ask this information each time you call 911 to verify the information is accurate

 

What to Expect When You Call 911?

The ability of police to locate and arrest criminals often depends on the thoroughness and accuracy of the information submitted. Expect to be asked for the following information:

  • Where is the emergency?
  • What is occurring?
  • When did this occur?
  • Do you have any suspect and/or suspect vehicle descriptions? Direction of travel?
  • Are there or were there weapons involved? (gun, knife, stick, etc)
  • Does anyone require medical attention?

You will be asked to give your name, address and telephone number (anonymous calls are accepted). If you wish the responding police officers to contact you at your home or business, advise the 911 dispatcher. Please remain on the telephone to provide all information as requested.

  • DO NOT hang up until the dispatcher advises you to do so.
  • ALLOW the dispatcher to direct the questions.

 

Calling 911 and Hanging Up

Whether you call 911 on purpose or by accident, the dispatcher will receive your information even if you terminate the call before the line is answered. In these instances the dispatcher will call you back and inquire if an emergency exists. If the line is busy, the dispatcher will have an operator interrupt your call so that he/she may determine if there is an emergency at your residence or business. If the line is not answered when the dispatcher attempts to call, an officer may be dispatched to the address from which the call originated for a security check of the home or business.

These procedures are followed as a safeguard in the event someone tries to make a discreet call and is interrupted or unable to speak for various reasons.

If you dial 911 in error, please remain on the line and advise the dispatcher that you have made a mistake.


 

Examples of Emergency Calls - CALL 9-1-1

  • Fires
  • Calls involving the use of weapons, such as a shooting or stabbing
  • Burglaries or robberies in progress or just occurred
  • Someone having a medical emergency such as a heart attack
  • Traffic accident with injuries
  • Domestic violence, in progress or just occurred
  • Child or elder abuse, in progress or just occurred
  • Missing persons at risk (in need of medication, have Alzheimer's or other medical disorder or are suicidal)

 

Examples of NON-Emergency Calls - CALL 903-729-2254

  • Loud party or music
  • Parking violations
  • Barking dogs
  • Non injury accidents
  • Petty theft or burglary not in progress
  • Time delayed reports
  • Information on towed vehicles
  • Juvenile runaway or missing adults who are not at risk