The successful outcome of the actions performed by the NPSO deputies relies on their ability to receive, interpret and provide timely and effective communications. Whether the Patrol Division is responding to an emergency on a rural roadside or the Community Services Division providing the ‘Are You OK” program to senior citizens, the ability to effectively communicate internally or with the citizens is essential.
The NPSO Communications Division is responsible for managing the communications capabilities of the NPSO and also manages the Emergency 911 dispatch which receives citizens’ wireless calls and landline calls outside of the city limits for emergency service in the parish.
NPSO Communications Division Telecommunicators dispatch emergency response service for NPSO, Emergency Medical Service, 10 Parish Fire Districts, and Municipal Law Enforcement Agencies outside of the city limits of Natchitoches.
The division is staffed by 9 full-time deputies who have received over 88,000 emergency calls from citizens in 2020, averaging over 245 calls per day.
The Communication division utilizes equipment and technology customized for the needs of Natchitoches Parish. “With our parish being so large geographically, we have to ensure that our communication capabilities are effective whether our first responders are up in far corners of the parish like Ashland and Readheimer or down in the south end of the parish like Mink or Mora. Wherever our responders are on the road, our ability to communicate critical information to them is vital.”
Enhanced 911 System
The Communications Division is continually improving our technology foot print. We are Phase II compliant with Enhanced 911 system. Enhanced 911 provides cell phone information to Telecommunicators that is more complete and precise than standard 911. This includes providing the latitude and longitude of the caller within 50-300 meters. The detailed information can help deputies pinpoint the location of the citizen in need to respond quicker and be more prepared to perform the required action.
Other technology enhancements within the Communications Division include the use of radio consoles. This equipment allows the operator to have continued contact with citizens who are on the phone and with the responding deputy in the field. The system can control up to 48 radio channels and has real-time network monitoring to ensure the equipment is properly functioning at all times.
Operations Center in Action
The Communications Division Telecommunicators receive requests for service through the 911 system, non-emergency telephone calls to the NPSO, and occasionally when citizens come to the Sheriff’s Office.
The process of an emergency call involves many actions internally that could involve multiple agencies in the parish. The nature of the call for service determines which agency gets assigned to respond to the call, including law enforcement, emergency and fire departments, Natchitoches Medical Center, the Natchitoches Parish Coroner’s Office, or wildlife and forestry agents. The dispatch operators continue to monitor the event and are prepared to make further request such as directing more deputies to the scene or to request other agencies to respond.
Interoperability is so important for this division because we interact with all agencies in the region. Our goal is to obtain as much information as we can gather from a citizen request and dispatch appropriate action as quickly and efficiently as possible. We want to do our part in serving the citizens of Natchitoches Parish.